The Toronto stock market racked up a new record today amid a strong report about Canadian manufacturing and hopes for better job numbers out of the U.S.
The S&P/TSX composite index gained 63.78 points to close 15,209.79 after testing even higher levels earlier in the day. It has passed its previous closing high of 15,109, set last week.
Canadian traders also were optimistic about numbers released Tuesday, when the market was closed, showing an improvement in both Chinese and U.S. manufacturing.
In the U.S., stocks were edging higher following an ADP report that showed that the private sector created 281,000 jobs during June, a higher-than-expected number.
The Dow rose 120.17 points to 16,976.24. The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed up 1.30 points to 1,974.62 and the Nasdaq dipped three points to 4,455.
On Tuesday, the Dow and the S&P 500 entered the second half of 2014 trading by hitting new records after data showed that Chinese manufacturing grew in June for the first time in six months. The S&P punched through its record on Tuesday and the Dow zeroed in on the 17,000 benchmark, hitting 16,956.
In the U.S., the manufacturing sector advanced for a 13th straight month of growth. Other data released Wednesday showed U.S. factory orders fell by 0.5 per cent in May, a steeper drop than the 0.3 per cent that had been forecast.
Traders looked ahead to the other major economic event for the week — the release Friday of the U.S. government's employment report for June. The ADP report made investors optimistic about hiring, analysts said.
"Clearly, now the market is going to set up for a bullish number," said Wes Mills, chief investment officer at Scotia Private Client Group.
"People have been reluctant to fully endorse this rally and we know the fears that have popped up, whether it's Ukraine, or China or more recently this Iraq business. But it does seem the market is shaking all of these things off."
In corporate news, JPMorgan Chase chairman and chief executive Jamie Dimon said he has curable throat cancer. Dimon said he plans to remain on the job and be actively involved in key decisions while undergoing treatment.
Despite the reassurance, Dimon's illness could raise leadership concerns at one of the world's biggest banks. The bank's shares declined 68 cents to $57.18 US.
High-flying tech stock GoPro was down 14 per cent to $42.04 on Wednesday as short-sellers bet that its huge runup would reverse. It traded as high as $49.90 on Tuesday, more than double its $24 IPO price.
Charlie Anderson, senior analyst at Dougherty and Co. and the only Wall Street analyst currently covering GoPro, said he was surprised by the doubling of the stock price in a five-day period.
He still rates GoPro a buy, but says it’s going to be very volatile for investors.
“At this price, there’s quite a bit of expectation built into it, so if you buy it here you’re thinking it’s going to be a much bigger company three or four years from now,” Anderson said in an interview with CBC’s The Lang & O’Leary Exchange.
But he believes GoPro has potential – in part because of its tremendous brand recognition.
“Canon is a much larger company – they spend 15 times as much on advertising than GoPro does, but users will search on Google for GoPro products almost one fifth as much as Canon. They do significantly better on a limited ad budget. It’s just a great consumer brand name – that gives them a lot of flexibility,” Anderson said.
“And then they have the media opportunity. They have a gigantic viewership on YouTube.”
In Canada, shares in Canadian Pacific Railway were $2.69 higher to $196 after the carrier was upgraded by equities research analysts at CIBC from a "sector perform" rating to an "outperform" rating. Earlier this week, analysts at Barclays raised their price target on shares of Canadian Pacific Railway from $168 to $196 US.
TSX advancers were led by the base metals component, up 2.9 per cent as July copper gained four cents to $3.25 a pound.
The information technology sector was up 1.68 per cent as Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry ran up 40 cents or 3.66 per cent to $11.34. The stock has surged lately, up about 40 per cent in the past month amid strong quarterly financial results and enthusiasm over its new product. BlackBerry's Passport, which meets somewhere between a smartphone and a tablet in size, is scheduled to launch in Europe this September
The energy sector was ahead 0.3 per cent, with August crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange down 86 cents to $104.48 US dollars.
The gold sector shook off early declines to move up 0.45 per cent, while August bullion rose $4 to $1,330 US an ounce.