North American stock markets up to start the week, loonie edges higher

TORONTO — Promising news in health care and some big technology deals helped fuel a broad-based rebound on stock markets in Canada and the U.S on Monday after last week’s sharp downturn.

On Wall Street, Nvidia shares jumped after it announced plans to buy fellow chipmaker Arm Holdings in a deal worth up to US$40 billion, and Oracle rose after the business software maker beat out Microsoft to become the “trusted technology provider” of TikTok, the popular video-sharing app based in China.

Meanwhile, Immunomedics nearly doubled after the cancer drug specialist agreed to be acquired by Gilead Sciences in a US$21-billion deal.

Pfizer Inc. rose 2.6 per cent after its CEO said Sunday he’s optimistic his firm’s coronavirus vaccine could be distributed to Americans before the end of the year if found to be safe and effective.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index closed up 137.68 points at 16,360.14, driven by strong growth in health care, materials and consumer discretionary as there were positive movements in nine of 11 sectors.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 327.69 points at 27,993.33.

The S&P 500 index was up 42.57 points at 3,383.54, while the Nasdaq composite was up 203.11 points at 11,056.65.

“The downdraft last week caught a lot of people off guard, got a lot of attention,” said Craig Fehr, investment strategist with Edward Jones.

“This is an environment where people should expect markets to bounce around and today is a good example of that.”

The health care sector in Toronto was led higher by Sienna Senior Living Inc., up 5.56 per cent at $11.96, and Cronos Group Inc., ahead 3.34 per cent at $7.12, while Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Bausch Health Companies each posted gains of more than three per cent.

The materials sector benefited from

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