Consumer sentiment data could spark stock markets

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market looks ready to close out 2009 at or even slightly above its highs for the year after economic data last week strengthened expectations that the U.S. economic recovery is on track.

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market looks ready to close out 2009 at or even slightly above its highs for the year after economic data last week strengthened expectations that the U.S. economic recovery is on track.

And investors hope key consumer data out on Tuesday will provide more indications of a rebound.

It will be a shortened trading week with the TSX open for business for just three days.

New York returns to work Monday following Christmas, while Canadian markets reopen Tuesday. Both are closed Friday for New Year’s Day.

The Toronto market ran up a solid 291 points or 2.54 per cent last week, leaving Canada’s main stock index up 31 per cent for the year to date.

Markets were lifted by U.S. home resale activity for the month of November that came in better than expected.

And investors were also relieved by other data showing a smart move up in American durable goods orders while claims for unemployment insurance continued to head lower.

“At least for the early part of 2010, I think it takes off the radar screen any concern that there’s going to be a hiccup or surprise,” said Andrew Pyle, investment adviser with ScotiaMcLeod in Peterborough, Ont.

“It would be really incredible I think to see a negative shock on the economic front in the first few months in the year based on some of the numbers that we’ve seen going into the end of the year.”

However, Pyle thinks there is a potential for shock later in 2010 as interest rates nudge higher and governments try to wean their economies off massive amounts of stimulus cash.

At the same time, investors will be looking for further evidence that the U.S. consumer is on board for the recovery when the U.S. Conference Board releases its latest figures on consumer confidence.

“It will take into account everything that has happened this month from obviously the equity market improvement to the improvement in jobs,” said Pyle.

“So if these numbers are real, if we’re getting a real accurate picture of what’s happened on the jobs front, then this confidence number has the potential to be very, very positive.”

He notes that economists expect an increase of about four points in the index to around 53.

And if the number beats that expectation, Pyle thinks the markets would be poised for a rally.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Officials tour Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange

Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman and local MLAs visit construction site

Bike thefts becoming ‘significant problem’ in Red Deer

Residents are sounding the alarm on the growing problem of bike theft… Continue reading

Red Deer approves 10 cannabis retail stores

Locations approved around the city

One trillion litres of sewage leaked into lakes and rivers over last five years

OTTAWA — Last Wednesday, a team of people from the Lake Ontario… Continue reading

Woman bitten at Red Deer dog park

Dog owners reminded to control their pets

WATCH: A horse was neglected by its owner. Now the horse is suing

ESTACADA, Ore. - Justice is an 8-year-old American quarter horse who used… Continue reading

Red Sox old-timer’s memorabilia going up for sale

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Some items belonging to one of the Boston Red… Continue reading

Rival Korea leaders to meet in Pyongyang in September

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — The rival Koreas announced Monday that North… Continue reading

Charlottesville anniversary: Peaceful protests, few arrests

WASHINGTON — Thousands of people wanting to send a message that racism… Continue reading

‘I believe music heals people’: 12-year-old records tribute for shooting victims

YARMOUTH, N.S. — Twelve-year-old Josh Cochrane of Yarmouth, N.S., watched the news… Continue reading

Fallen officers’ families gather with Justin Trudeau after tragedy

The prime minister laid flowers at the growing memorial to the four victims of Friday’s violence

Fallen officers’ families gather with prime minister after tragedy

FREDERICTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with families of fallen Fredericton… Continue reading

Liberals showcase benefits of billions spent on infrastructure projects

OTTAWA — Little more than a year before the next federal election,… Continue reading

Fredericton parade ‘a way to celebrate even in the midst of this grief’: mayor

FREDERICTON — Two days after four people were gunned down in a… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month