Major North American indices see lift from renewed investor confidence

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, November 5, 2018 5:23PM EST

Major North American indices mostly continued to gain ground Monday, with Canada’s main stock index adding nearly 100 points, as investor regained confidence in equities.

The S&P/TSX composite index advanced 98.42 points to 15,217.70 with health care and energy stocks leading the gain.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 190.87 points to 25,461.70 and the S&P 500 index gained 15.25 points to 2,738.31. The Nasdaq composite retreated 28.14 to 7,328.85.

The gains are a continuation of restored optimism in the markets following the selloff last month, said Craig Fehr, Canadian markets strategist for Edward Jones.

When stocks plunged in October, Fehr said, the fundamentals of corporate earnings and economic growth were a bit overshadowed by some panic.

Investors are now re-entering the market in recognition of the positive fundamental backdrop, he said.

It’s likely this month and the next will be good for the markets, Fehr said.

“If history holds, the November/December period after a mid-term election tends to be quite positive for equities,” he said.

“Under the premise that when you just remove the spectre of uncertainty of an election, markets get back to focusing on what tends to drive them more over the long term, which is fundamentals and not politics.”

America holds its mid-term elections Tuesday. The outcome could drive some short-term volatility, said Fehr, but is less impactful over the long term.

In currency markets, the Canadian dollar traded at an average of 76.36 cents US, up 0.05 of a U.S. cent from an average of 76.31 cents US on Friday.

In commodities, the December crude contract fell four cents to US$63.10 per barrel and the December natural gas contract rose roughly 28 cents to about US$3.57 per mmBTU.

The December gold

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