S&P/TSX composite posts gain Friday; U.S. markets rally on tech

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Canada’s main stock index was up more than 150 points Friday on broad-based gains, while U.S. markets also rose with an end-of-week rally driven by significant strength in the tech sector.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 161.77 points at 20,503.21.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 330.93 points, or one per cent, at 33,375.49. The S&P 500 index was up 1.9 per cent at 3,972.61, while the Nasdaq composite was up 288.17 points, or 2.7 per cent, at 11,140.43.

After a rocky week, markets appeared to reverse some of their losses Friday, said Brian Madden, chief investment officer with First Avenue Investment Counsel.

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Markets in the U.S. were largely lifted by tech, with Google’s parent company’s stock up more than five per cent on layoff news and Netflix up more than eight per cent on a jump in subscribers.

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Meanwhile the TSX’s information technology index was up 2.4 per cent, but as tech makes up a relatively small part of the Canadian index compared with energy, industrials and financials, the uptick Friday on the TSX was less dramatic than in the U.S.

Tech’s gains Friday are still just a bounce from significant losses after the sector took a beating last year, and could signify some opportunistic trading by investors looking to buy low, said Madden.

“A lot of this stuff has been sold down really, really, really hard,” he said.

This week has seen investors relatively subdued after a risk-on two weeks to start the year, said Madden, with markets looking ahead to the Bank of Canada’s rate decision next week and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s soon after.

Meanwhile, Madden expects earnings season to be filled with companies trying to lower the bar for 2023 in hopes that they can jump comfortably over it.

“We know that the interest rate hikes that started to get enacted a year ago are starting to bite and people are starting to feel them,” he said.

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.51 cents UScompared with 74.23 cents US on Thursday.

The March crude oil contract was up US$1.03 cents at US$81.64 per barrel and the February natural gas contract was down ten cents at US$3.17 per mmBTU.

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The February gold contract was up US$4.30 at US$1,928.20 an ounceand the March copper contract was up two cents at US$4.25 a pound.

-With files from The Associated Press

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