The stock market in Canada turned positive Wednesday, as investors seemingly welcomed the Bank of Canada’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged. Also, significantly stronger-than-expected U.S. non-farm employment and job openings data boosted investors’ confidence, temporarily calming recession fears. As a result, the S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 71 points, or 0.4%, during the session to settle at 20,347.
Despite continued losses in healthcare and energy stocks, big gains in other key Canadian stock market sectors like metal mining, industrials, and technology kept the optimism alive.
Top TSX Composite movers and active stocks
Shares of ECN Capital (TSX:ECN) jumped 16.6% yesterday to $3.59 per share, making it the top-performing TSX stock for the day. These sharp gains in ECN stock came after the Toronto-headquartered financial services company announced a review of strategic alternatives to maximize value for its shareholders. Among other options, these strategic alternatives include “strategic funding and capital relationships,” ECN said in a press release. Due to this ongoing review process, the company also postponed its Investors Day event, which was earlier scheduled for March 8. Year to date, ECN stock has now risen 29.1%.
Nuvei (TSX:NVEI) stock popped by about 12% in the last session to $50.29 per share after the tech company released its largely better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. During the December quarter, the Canadian payment services firm’s total revenue increased by 4% year over year, despite macroeconomic challenges.
Nuvei’s adjusted quarterly earnings stood at US$0.47 per share, exceeding Street analysts’ estimates of US$0.43 per share. Notably, NVEI stock has surged by 46% this year so far.
Cargojet and Stella-Jones were also among the top gainers on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as they inched up by at least 4.3% each.
On the flip side, shares of Transcontinental and Labrador Iron Ore Royalty tanked by at least 7.7% each, making them the worst-performing stocks on the exchange.
Based on their daily trade volume, Suncor Energy, Great-West Lifeco, Canadian Natural Resources, and ECN Capital were the most active stocks.
Commodity prices were largely trading on a weak note early Thursday morning, which could pressure the main TSX index at the open today. While no major domestic economic releases are due, Canadian investors may want to watch the latest weekly jobless claims data from the U.S. market this morning.
On the corporate events front, TSX-listed businesses, like Enghouse Systems, Wheaton Precious Metals, and Maple Leaf Foods are expected to announce their latest quarterly results on March 9.