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S&P 500 fully recovers, Nasdaq hits record high on reopening optimism


TORONTO — The S&P 500 fully recovered all losses this year while the Nasdaq composite index set a record high on continued investor optimism about progression of economic reopenings.

Investors on the TSX were also buoyed by further movement to move beyond the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The Ontario government said Monday that most regions outside the Toronto area will be allowed to open more businesses and activities Friday, including restaurant patios, hair salons and swimming pools as the province takes a regional approach to reopening.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 120.84 points at 15,974.91. That's up 42 per cent from the March low and just 6.5 per cent off from where it started the year.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 461.46 points at 27,572.44. The S&P 500 index gained 38.46 points at 3,232.39 to wipe out all losses for the year. It's 4.7 per cent off the record high.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite was up 110.66 points to 9,924.75, a record closing after setting an intraday high of 9,927.12.

"What we've really seen not only today but the last week or two is really in a lot of sense the stocks that have been beaten up the most during the coronavirus pandemic here are the ones that have been surging the most and we're just seeing some really huge numbers," said Michael Currie, vice-president and investment adviser at TD Wealth.

The big gainers on the S&P 500 were airlines, cruise lines, retailers and shopping malls.

"What it seems to say is that the market is really looking to Phase 2 of the reopening," he said in an interview.

Health care was the big gainer on the day in Toronto, rising 8.39 per cent on a recovery from cannabis producers, led by Hexo Corp., up 44.4 per cent and Cronos Group Inc. up 20.3 per cent.

Real estate was the second-best sector, gaining 3.2 per cent with office owner Dream Office REIT leading at 8.8 per cent, followed by Brookfield Property Partners LP up 7.3 per cent

The sector has been hurt during the COVID-19 lockdowns by employees working from home, malls shuttered, tenants not paying rent and concerns about retirement homes because many of those who died were elderly residents of the facilities.

Industrials was down slightly even though Bombardier shares surged 23 per cent and Air Canada had another good day, climbing 15.3 per cent.

"Really they've bounced strongly off the bottom, but they're not back to pre-pandemic levels by any stretch," Currie said, noting the airline's shares have risen to $23.39 but still remain well below the $52.71 peak.

Energy gained nearly three per cent despite lower crude oil prices as Shawcorp Ltd. surged 44.5 per cent and large producers Husky Energy Inc., Baytex Energy Corp. and Crescent Point Energy Corp. were up about 12 per cent.

The July crude contract was down US$1.36 at US$38.19 per barrel and the July natural gas contract was up 0.7 of a cent at nearly US$1.79 per mmBTU.

Crude prices dipped after Saudi Arabia said it would end its extra voluntary oil cuts after June and Libya will resume production.

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.72 cents US compared with 74.47 cents US on Friday.

The loonie isn't decoupled from the price of oil, but "it's nice to see Canadian dollar had a good day when oil is not having such a good day," said Currie.

Materials was up slightly as gold prices rose.

The August gold contract was up US$22.10 at US$1,705.10 an ounce and the July copper contract was up one cent at nearly US$2.57 a pound.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2020.


Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version erroneously reported the S&P/TSX composite index closing price.

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