Closing Bell TSX ends higher as traders hope for limited US government

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed higher Tuesday as traders hoped that a partial shutdown of the U.S. government won’t last long enough to cause serious damage to the U.S. economy.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 12,847.44 +60.25 0.47%S&P 500 — 1,695.00 +13.45 0.80%Dow — 15,191.70 +62.03 0.41%Nasdaq — 3817.98 +46.50 1.23%The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 60.25 points to 12,847.44, held back by mining stocks which fell alongside prices for oil and metals.Falling commodity prices and a weaker economic outlook from the Bank of Canada helped push the Canadian dollar down 0.21 of a cent to 96.85 cents US, even as the American dollar weakened against other currencies.The bank’s senior deputy governor, Tiff Macklem, said the central bank expects third- and fourth-quarter growth to come in at two to 2.5%. It had previously forecast growth in the July-September period at 3.8% and at 2.5% in the final quarter.Strong manufacturing data helped send U.S. indexes higher after Congress failed to approve a short-term funding agreement before midnight Monday night due to a political impasse rooted in a long-running dispute over President Barack Obama’s health-care law.The Dow Jones industrials ticked 62.03 points higher to 15,191.7, the Nasdaq climbed 46.5 points to 3,817.98 and the S&P 500 index gained 13.45 points to 1,695.The Institute for Supply Management’s September index showed rising expansion, coming in at 56.2 on top of a 55.7 reading in August. Economists had expected the index to ease slightly to 55.The clock is also ticking towards an even more worrisome prospect, an Oct. 17 deadline when the U.S. government hits its debt limit and begins to run out of cash to pay its bills.“I think the real volatility, uncertainty and excitement is coming up with the debt ceiling,” said Kash Pashootan, portfolio manager at First Avenue Advisory in Ottawa, a Raymond James company.“What concerns me is I don’t believe the politicians truly understand the impact that could be felt by the economy and the markets if they don’t reach a resolution. It seems the only thing they’re concerned about is their agenda.”Despite the current impasse, critical parts of the government, from the military to air traffic controllers, will remain in operation. Analysts said significant damage to the U.S. economy was unlikely unless the shutdown lasted more than a few days.But with the Republican-controlled House and Democratic-controlled Senate in a stalemate, it was unclear how long the shutdown would last.Meanwhile, the shutdown is being felt in creating an absence of what is usually market-moving data.On Tuesday, traders were also supposed to take in the latest reading on construction spending but numbers were held up because of the shutdown.Also, traders had been looking to Friday and the release of the government’s September employment report. That has also been put on hold with the U.S. Labor Department saying it won’t collect data or issue reports during the shutdown.The TSX industrial sector 1.5% gained with Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR) ahead $1.66 to $106.03.The energy sector rose 0.87% while oil prices were lower for a third day amid worries about the effect of the shutdown on the U.S. economy and weak Chinese manufacturing data. The November crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 29 cents to US$102.04 a barrel. Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ) improved by 45 cents to C$32.82.Utilities also lent support, up 1.13% with Atlantic Power (TSX:ATP) ahead 31 cents to $4.73.Miners were the biggest TSX weight with the gold sector down about 2.6% as prices for the traditional safe haven retreated. The December contract fell $40.90 to US$1,286.10 an ounce. Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) dropped 58 cents to C$18.60.The base metals sector was down 1.4% while metal prices were also lower with December copper down five cents at US$3.27 a pound. First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) shed 59 cents to C$18.59.In corporate news, shares in automaker Ford rose 32 cents or 1.9% to US$17.19 in New York as its U.S. sales rose 6% in September, with strong car sales making up for slower sales of SUVs.But General Motors dipped six cents to $35.91 as its September sales dropped 11% from a year ago. Even the company’s big pickup trucks saw sales declines, with the Chevy Silverado down almost 11% and the GMC Sierra off 2%.TOP STORIESCanada’s five best and worst performing energy stocksWhy the U.S. shutdown is actually a good thing for investors21 cheap stocks that offer double-digit returnsWireless upstart Mobilicity files for creditor protectionCanadian economic growth stalling, BoC’s Macklem warnsWHAT’S ON DECK WEDNESDAY ECONOMIC NEWSEuropean Central Bank announces interest rate decision UNITED STATESU.S. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at St. Louis Fed conference 8:30 a.m.ADP National Employment Report (Sept): Economists expect 180,000 jobs, up from last month CORPORATE NEWSUNITED STATESMonsanto Company Q4 earnings: Analysts expect a loss of 43¢ a share read more

Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani named UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

Mr. Armani has been working with UNHCR over the past year – in a personal capacity as well as through his company – by lending support to the agency’s public awareness and fund-raising efforts for refugees, especially during emergencies. Voicing gratitude to Mr. Armani for accepting the role of Goodwill Ambassador, High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers hailed the designer’s “rapid and effective” mobilization of resources in response to the agency’s emergency appeal for Afghan refugees last year. “He was active on several fronts, including fundraising and drawing public attention to the crisis,” said Mr. Lubbers. “He will be a great partner to UNHCR in mobilizing support for some of the world’s most unfortunate and needy people.”For his part, Mr. Armani voiced appreciation for the opportunity to help UNHCR. “I am accepting this role with humility, recognizing that the challenges for the world’s refugees are significant, but I have always believed that each individual has an opportunity to make a difference, and I hope that I may have a chance to do just that,” he said. “I am particularly committed to assisting young refugees gain the means to rebuild their lives; after all, children are our future.”The designer will visit refugee camps later this year to learn more about UNHCR’s education and vocational training projects. Among other activities, the new Goodwill Ambassador plans to provide support for UNHCR income-generating projects for refugees.The formal announcement of Mr. Armani’s appointment was scheduled for Tuesday evening in Modena, Italy, during the annual “Pavarotti and Friends” concert, which will benefit of Angolan refugees in Zambia. The concert programme included celebrated Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti, as well as such musical stars as Sting, Lou Reed, Andrea Bocelli and James Brown.Other UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors include actress Angelina Jolie of the United States, Swedish-American classical singer Barbara Hendricks, and Egyptian actor Adel Imam. read more