S&P/TSX composite up almost 200 points, U.S. stock markets also climb higher

TORONTO — Technology stocks helped lead a broad-based rally, bringing Canada's main stock index up almost 200 points Wednesday, while U.S. stock markets also climbed.

Bond yields moved lower Wednesday, easing pressure on equities after a string of increases recently sent the 10-year Treasury yield to its highest level since 2007.

The move in yields provided some relief to big tech and other growth-oriented sectors of the market Wednesday, said Angelo Kourkafas, an investment strategist at Edward Jones.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 188.58 points at 19,879.79.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 184.15 points at 34,472.98. The S&P 500 index was up 48.46 points at 4,436.01,while the Nasdaq composite was up 215.16 points at 13,721.03.

“I think today is probably a case of bad news is interpreted as good news,” said Kourkafas.

The bad news in question is some weaker data on business activity in the U.S. and Europe, he said. A preliminary reading of U.S. services and manufacturing businesses eased to a six-month low, suggesting the Federal Reserve’s tightening is continuing to work its way through the economy.

In Canada, new data showed that retail sales rose 0.1 per cent in June, but core retail sales — which exclude gasoline stations and fuel vendors and motor vehicle and parts dealers — fell 0.9 per cent.

Investors awaited the latest earnings report from Nvidia on Wednesday, which released its results after the bell. The chipmaker has been a key driver of the tech rally earlier this year, and expectations were high for this report, said Kourkafas.

Nvidia’s revenue for the second quarter surged 88 per cent from the previous quarter, and up 101 per cent from a year ago, the company said. Net income soared 203 per cent from the last quarter, and 843 per cent from a year earlier.

Shares in the company closed up more than three per cent Wednesday in anticipation of the earnings report.

Those results will be a big driver of markets on Thursday, Kourkafas said.

Another key driver of markets later in the week will be Fed chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at the central bank’s annual symposium at Jackson Hole on Friday, he said.

“I think Fed Chair Powell will try to keep a balanced message, highlight data dependency. There’s no reason to expect Powell to be dovish at this point,” he said.

“But at the same time, it would be surprising if he doesn’t acknowledge the progress that we have seen on the inflation front.”

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.79 cents UScompared with 73.81 cents US on Tuesday.

The October crude contract was down 75 cents at US$78.89 per barreland the October natural gas contract was down six cents at US$2.59 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was up US$22.10 at US$1,948.10 an ounceand the September copper contract was up five cents at US$3.81 a pound.

— With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 23, 2023.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press