Health care sector lifts Toronto stock index to another record high, loonie down

TORONTO _ A surging health-care sector helped Toronto’s main stock index move higher into record territory today as the loonie and the price of oil slipped in trading.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 39.59 points to 16,131.79, with shares of Quebec-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (TSX:VRX) up more than 17 per cent on the day.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average added 8.81 points to 23,557.23. The S&P 500 index was down 0.49 of a point to 2,590.64 and the Nasdaq composite index dropped 18.66 points to 6,767.78.

The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 78.22 cents US, down 0.24 of a U.S. cent.

In commodities, the December crude contract fell 15 cents to US$57.20 per barrel and the December natural gas contract was up two cents at US$3.15 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was down $5.80 to US$1,275.80 an ounce and the December copper contract gave back seven cents to US$3.09 a pound.