TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index has made back about a third of its recent losses with the first three-day rally since hitting a record high in February.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed 243.94 points or 1.8 per cent higher at 13,371.17. That’s up 19 per cent since Monday’s close but still nearly 26 per cent below last month’s peak.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 1,351.62 points or 6.4 per cent at 22,552.17 for the best three-day run since 1931. The S&P 500 index was up 154.51 points or 6.2 per cent at 2,630.07, while the Nasdaq composite was up 413.24 points at 7,797.54.
Thursday’s gains came despite nearly 3.3 million Americans applying last week for unemployment benefit claims as the impact of measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic take hold.
“I’m a bit surprised at how strong the move has been today, just given it’s the biggest claims number we’ve ever seen,” said Mike Archibald, vice-president and portfolio manager with AGF Investments Inc.
He said there were some forecasts that the number would be as much as five million and is likely to get higher.
Archibald said it’s difficult to know if market gains spurred on by large rescue packages in the U.S. and Canada are the start of a sustained rally.
The markets still have some room to grow if past bear market rallies are any guide, before dipping again and settling out, he said.
“You could still potentially see another 10 to 15 per cent up move here to get back to about half the losses that you experienced, and that would be about average compared to previous bear markets,” he said.
The Canadian dollar gained more than one cent to trade for 71.04 cents US compared with an average of 69.92 cents US on Wednesday.