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AFTER THE BELL: Strong earnings reports from U.S. financial giants bolster markets, government shutdown drags into 26th day

Good vibrations from America’s banking sector were felt north of the border, and gave the TSX a lift.

The TSX finished 64 points higher, led by the heavyweight financials sector which moved up one percent.

Better-than-expected earnings reports from U.S. banking giants Bank of America and Goldman Sachs had a ripple effect in Canada.

Shares in Royal Bank, Manulife Financial, Bank of Montreal, and Toronto Dominion gained between 0.3 and 1.8 percent.

Capping gains on Bay Street was a slip in the energy sector and a 4.2 percent drop in aerospace giant Bombardier, the runner-up behind perennial frontrunner Aurora Cannabis among the index’s most actively traded stocks.

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In New York, the Dow’s strengthening banking sector gave the exchange a lift.

The Dow rose 141 points, led by an 9.5-percent jump by Goldman Sachs.

The index built off the momentum from triple digit gains on Tuesday, on the back of the tech sector.

U.S. stocks have rallied since the worst Christmas Eve performance on record. According to CNBC, the U.S. indexes have gained at least 8.8 percent, despite the longest U.S. government shutdown in history dragging into a 26th day, and uncertainty surrounding U.S./China trade talks.

The Nasdaq failed to launch, however, only edging up 10 points as modest gains in Apple and Amazon balanced out losses by Facebook, Micron, and Netflix.

Oil prices managed to climb 25 cents to $52.36 US a barrel as continued efforts by the world’s major producers to cut supply offset a sharp rise in U.S. fuel stockpiles.

The loonie gained a little bit of traction against the greenback, moving up 4/100ths to $0.7541 US while gold was popular among investors, jumping $5.10 to $1,293 an ounce.

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