TORONTO — Canada's main stock index gained more than a hundred points Monday, buoyed by strength in the energy and financial sectors, while U.S. markets were mixed.
The Nasdaq underperformed compared with other major indexes, with shares in major tech firms like Meta, Apple and Alphabet dragging the index down.
The S&P/TSX composite index was up 123.25 points at 19,624.74.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 194.55 points at 32,432.08. The S&P 500 index was up 6.54 points at 3,977.53, while the Nasdaq composite was down 55.12 points at 11,768.84.
Investors had more appetite for risk Monday, said Pierre-Benoît Gauthier, assistant vice-president of investment strategy at IG Wealth Management, as the banking crisis and risk for contagion appear to be subsiding.
This sentiment was helped by several developments, he said, including news that First Citizens is buying a large part of Silicon Valley Bank, as well as comments by a Federal Reserve official that suggested regulators are prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect depositors and the banking system.
However, concerns about a potential U.S. recession have also risen in the wake of the turmoil in banking, prompting bets that the Federal Reserve could cut interest rates this year.
The Nasdaq would normally do well on a day like Monday, said Gauthier. But he added he believes a fundamental shift has happened when it comes to the biggest companies on the tech index — including Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet and Meta, which have an outsized influence on the index’s performance.
The Nasdaq has outperformed the other indexes in the past few weeks amid the crisis of confidence in banking, he noted, but is now underperforming amid a rise in market confidence.
“Big tech is now seen as defensive,” said Gauthier.
These big tech companies are being seen as the new blue-chip stocks, said Gauthier.
“It’s a new dynamic,” he said.
“We are entering a place where these services, web services and tech services, are now so important ... they’re just as important as running water and electricity.”
The TSX energy index rose more than two per cent as the price of oil rose Monday, well above US$70 a barrel.
Oil prices regained lost ground amid overall economic sentiment improving after falling during the first week of the banking crisis, said Gauthier.
The Canadian dollar traded for 73.09 cents US compared with 72.66 cents US on Friday.
The May crude contract was up US$3.55 at US$72.81 per barreland the May natural gas contract was down 15 cents at US$2.22 per mmBTU.
The April gold contract was down US$30 at US$1,953.80 an ounceand the May copper contract was up less than a penny at US$4.08 a pound.
— With files from The Associated Press
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2023.
Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)
Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press