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More gains for stocks Friday gave the S&P 500 its fifth straight winning week. That’s the longest weekly winning streak for the benchmark index since December, before the coronavirus pandemic swept the world and sent economies tumbling into recession. But despite the U.S. indexes all closing higher, Canada’s stock market ended with a loss, with the consumer staples sector leading decliners.

The S&P 500 rose 0.7%, bringing its weekly gain to 3.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average erased the last of its 2020 losses. The Nasdaq has left both those indexes in the dust with a year-to-date gain of 30%, thanks to big gains for technology stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 25.70 points, or 0.15%, at 16,705.79. Consumer staples lost 1.85%. But it was a good day for the materials sector, which rose 2.27% thanks to a rise in bullion prices.

Gold rebounded over 2%, a day after a steep sell-off, as the U.S. dollar weakened one day after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled a prolonged low interest rate strategy.

Among largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Canadian Western Bank, which jumped 7.6%, after the lender topped profit estimates for the third-quarter. Silvercorp Metals, meanwhile, rose 5.3% after brokerage PI Financial raised the target price of the stock.

On the flip side was OceanaGold, falling 6.1% after brokerage PI Financial cut the target price of the gold producer’s stock.

The S&P 500 is close to wrapping up what appears to be its best August in 34 years.

“Tech stocks have driven much of the recovery this year, but we are seeing breadth expand, which is helping indices like the Dow Jones Industrial Average,” said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York.

Stocks extended their gains after a top aide to President Donald Trump said the president is willing to sign a $1.3 trillion coronavirus relief bill, four weeks after emergency unemployment benefits expired for millions of Americans.

Economic data released before the bell showed American consumers, who account for about 70% of the U.S. economy, increased their spending more than expected in July but the savings rate, a barometer of consumer uncertainty, remained elevated well above pre-pandemic levels.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) core index, which excludes food and energy, rose at a rate of 1.3% year-on-year. On Thursday, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell unveiled a new monetary strategy adopting an average annual inflation target of 2%, implying the central bank could keep key interest rates near zero even if inflation rises above its target.

“(The Fed’s) new-found acceptance of higher inflation suggests the recovery could continue for much longer, as will near-zero rates,” Carter added.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 161.6 points, or 0.57%, to 28,653.87, the S&P 500 gained 23.46 points to 3,508.01 and the Nasdaq Composite added 70.30 points, or 0.6%, to 11,695.63. Energy stocks ended the session with the largest percentage gain among the major S&P sectors, rising 1.9% after Hurricane Laura passed through the Gulf region without causing widespread damage and oil rigs and refineries began to restart operations.

United Airlines and Coca-Cola Co rose 3.1% and 3.3%, respectively as they prepared for cost-cutting efforts including furloughs and voluntary separations.

But tech companies continue to benefit from companies shifting to a work-from-home model.

Business software company Workday Inc jumped 12.6% after raising its annual subscription forecast and Dell Technologies Inc rose 6.1% following its quarterly profit beat.

Walmart Inc announced it was joining Microsoft Corp in its bid for TikTok’s U.S. assets from Chinese owner ByteDance.

Shares of Walmart and Microsoft advanced 2.7% and 1.0%, respectively.

Nutanix Inc soared by 29.2% after the cloud service provider beat earnings expectations and Bain Capital invested about $750 million in the company.

Read more: Friday’s analyst upgrades and downgrades

Read more: BMO revises TSX target, expects bounceback in banks to propel index to record highs by year end

Reuters, Globe staff

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