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S&P/TSX composite rises 270 points Wednesday, U.S. stock markets mixed

Canada’s main stock index rose 1.2 per cent Wednesday on broad-based strength, while U.S. stock markets were mixed after they closed early ahead of the July 4 holiday.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 269.87 points at 22,223.67.

“The TSX has jumped on its monthly high on the back of soft U.S. job market data that pushed bond yields down,” said Brianne Gardner, senior wealth manager at Velocity Investment Partners at Raymond James Ltd.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both hit new highs as trading closed early ahead of the Independence Day holiday.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 23.85 points at 39,308.00. The S&P 500 index was up 28.01 points at 5,537.02, while the Nasdaq composite was up 159.54 points at 18,188.30.

New economic data showed activities in the U.S. services industries contracted in June, coming in weaker than economists expected.

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Another report showed signs of a cooling job market, with non-government employers slowing hiring.

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“This is showing us a third consecutive month of slowing job growth, and slower annual pay increases,” said Gardner.

Friday will bring the major monthly jobs report, and markets will be looking for signs of continued cooling in the labour market.

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Weak economic news continues to be good news for investors hoping that interest rate cuts are on the horizon in the U.S., said Gardner.

Large tech stocks continued to drive market returns on Wednesday. Tesla rose 6.5 per cent a day after soaring due to a milder drop in spring sales than analysts had expected. The electric vehicle maker, along with Nvidia’s gain of 4.6 per cent, helped push the S&P 500 higher.

However, though the market is still narrow, there are signs of broadening strength that Gardner expects will continue in the second half of the year, especially once the U.S. Federal Reserve starts cutting interest rates.

The Fed released the minutes of its June meeting, where the central bank yet again held its key rate steady.

Officials welcomed recent signs of slowing inflation and a cooling economy, but said more evidence was still needed that inflation is sustainably heading toward the target before the central bank is ready to start cutting.

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The Canadian dollar traded for 73.33 cents US compared with 73.01 cents US on Tuesday.

The August crude oil contract was up seven cents at US$82.88 per barrel and the August natural gas contract was down two cents at US$2.42 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract was up US$36.00 at US$2,369.40 an ounce and the September copper contract was up 11 cents at US$4.53 a pound.

— With files from The Associated Press

&© 2024 The Canadian Press

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