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TSX modestly higher at end of positive week, N.Y. shut for July 4 holiday

TORONTO - Industrials and telecoms led the way to a minor advance Friday on the Toronto stock market at the end of a positive week.

Canada's main stock market closed at another record high as the S&P/TSX composite index rose 7.85 points to 15,214.96. Trading was much lighter than usual with U.S. markets closed for the Independence Day holiday.

The Canadian dollar edged down 0.15 of a cent to 93.84 cents US.

The Toronto market racked up a solid weekly gain of 120.71 points or 0.8 per cent, led by mining and financial stocks after U.S. jobs data for June, released Thursday, came in far higher than expected. The report also increased optimism that the U.S. economy will rebound significantly after shrinking in the first quarter.

The Dow Jones industrials finished the week up 1.28 per cent and closed above the 17,000-mark for the first time.

The strong U.S. jobs data is the latest piece of data to show the world’s biggest economy continues to improve steadily. Also helping stocks are solid corporate earnings and continued support from central banks.

Traders are now focused on the start of U.S. second-quarter earnings reports for reassurance about how the economy performed in the April-June period. Heavyweights reporting next week include Alcoa Inc. and Wells Fargo.

At the same time, analysts note that expectations for the quarter are rather modest.

"OK, but not spectacular," said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse, in describing them.

"Firms have been lowering expectations so that may bring some of the very strong sentiment down to earth a bit."

The industrials sector was the biggest percentage advancer, up 0.6 per cent.

Telecoms also provided lift, ahead 0.42 per cent.

Commodity prices were mixed in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange with August bullion 70 cents higher late Friday afternoon at US$1,321.30 an ounce. The gold sector gained 0.15 per cent.

The base metals sector was the biggest decliner, down 0.55 per cent while September copper was off a penny at US$3.27 a pound.

The energy sector declined 0.36 per cent as August crude moved 29 cents lower to US$103.77 a barrel.

On the corporate front, Lassonde Industries Inc. (TSX:LAS.A) is acquiring U.S. branded juice company Apple & Eve for US$150 million in a bid to strengthen its presence in the United States. Lassonde shares ran ahead $8.17 or 7.44 per cent to C$118.03.

Shaw Media is making plans to launch a national TV news channel called Global News 1. In filings to the CRTC, the media division of Shaw Communications (TSX:SJR.B), which operates Global Television, says it wants to launch a “hybrid local/national” English-language news channel. Shaw shares were 16 cents lower at $27.62.

Several cars in a Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR) freight train have derailed northwest of Edmonton. Two of the five cars were carrying crude oil. There were no injuries and no fire when the cars left the tracks early Friday morning. CN shares were up 42 cents to $70.02.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story: A previous version gave incorrect closing figures for Lassonde Industries

The Canadian Press

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