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AFTER THE BELL: TSX jumps on broad-based gains; Dow moves higher ahead of Trump’s State of the Union address

Markets climbed ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s annual State of the Union address tonight.

Investors are awaiting word on progress on U.S./China trade talks as well as domestic stability, after a spat over border wall funding resulted in a historically long, 35-day government shutdown.

In Toronto, upbeat revenue results from Westjet and broad-based gains across the index helped lift Canada’s stock exchange into triple digit territory.

The TSX added 100 points with 10 of 11 sectors in the green.

Westjet’s stock rose 3.3 percent to $20.94 a share after announcing better-than-expected fourth quarter and year end results for 2018.

However, the Calgary-based airline reported net earnings of $29.2 million in Q4, a big drop compared with its net profit of $47.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. According to Westjet, the revenue drop was sparked by a higher jet fuel prices.

Meanwhile, the index’s energy sector barely moved above level, following a dip in oil prices.

Oil lost 87 cents to $53.69 US a barrel, pressured mainly by disappointing U.S. factory data.

In New York, the Dow rose 172 points and the Nasdaq was 54 points higher in anticipation of Trump’s address, and signs that the U.S. central bank will continue to press pause on hiking future interest rates.

Apple has regained its throne as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company, despite reporting flagging iPhone sales in China. The tech heavyweight edged out Amazon and Microsoft for the title.

Apple was one of the most heavily traded companies on the Dow today, and moved up 1.7 percent.

In other tech news, Google parent Alphabet’s shares fell one percent in the wake of its quarterly results. While the company’s revenue results beat expectations, a surge in spending and hiring trimmed its profit margins.

It was a down day for both the yellow metal and the loonie. Gold was off by 10 cents to $1,316 an ounce while the Canadian dollar weakened by 13/100ths of a cent to $0.7614 US.

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