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S&P/TSX composite moves higher to end roller-coaster week; U.S. markets also up


TORONTO — Canada's main stock index ended a roller-coaster week by posting its best day in nearly three weeks, helped higher by a broad-based rally led by the technology sector.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed Friday up 197.64 points to 20,741.75 after falling more than 100 points in early trading. 

The stock market endured large swings all week following commentary from central banks, earnings results and economic data.

"We're seeing a lot of mixed signals and a lot of mixed trends, and I think a lot of people aren't quite sure what to make of it all," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management. 

Earnings results have been mixed with some companies like Apple Inc. being rewarded after posting record results, while others like Caterpillar and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. being punished for missing expectations.

"It's almost bipolar, where some things are doing quite nicely and now some things are starting to do really poorly," he said in an interview.

"It's by no means a boring or quiet day. I think under underneath the hood, there's a lot of things simmering away."

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 564.69 points at 34,725.47. The S&P 500 index was up 105.34 points at 4,431.85, while the Nasdaq composite was up 417.79 points or 3.1 per cent at 13,770.57. 

Markets ended the week flat to slightly higher, but are heading for steep losses in January. The TSX is down 2.3 per cent so far in 2022, the Dow is off 4.4 per cent and the S&P 500 is seven per cent lower. Nasdaq remains in correction territory, down 12 per cent.

The materials group was the only major sector to be down on Friday, losing ground on weaker metal and forest product prices in the face of a higher U.S. dollar.

The April gold contract was down US$8.40 at US$1,786.60 an ounce and the March copper contract was down 11.4 cents at US$4.31 a pound.

Technology was the big winner, surging 4.3 per cent and following the trend of the U.S. sector, with Hut 8 Mining Corp. up 8.0 per cent and Shopify Inc. increasing 7.1 per cent.

"Apple is probably helping and tech is probably one of the sectors that's most oversold right now. as bad as the overall market has been," Cieszynski said.

The sector was also helped by bond yields, which dipped despite remaining relatively high.

"The Treasury yields backing off definitely help, especially for more richly valued sectors like tech."

Energy also climbed as crude prices rose to end higher for a sixth straight week. Arc Resources Ltd. increased 6.9 per cent.

The March crude contract was up 21 cents US at US$86.82 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was up 35.6 cents at US$4.64 per mmBTU.

The Canadian dollar traded for 78.30 cents US compared with 78.67 cents US on Thursday. 

Cieszynski said many investors were surprised this week by the Fed's hawkish tone in not limiting the number of interest rate hikes this year. That left some observers to suggest up to seven U.S. rate hikes in 2022. That would mean one every meeting for the rest of the year instead of the historical move of once per quarter.

"So I just think that this was kind of almost the capitulation, the last of the people who thought, well, maybe they'll try and drag their feet and stall some more, have finally given up."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 28, 2022. 

Companies in this story: (TSX:ARX, TSX:CP, TSX:SHOP, TSX:HUT, TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) 

Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

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