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AFTER THE BELL: Surging pot, gold stocks bump TSX higher for sixth straight day, Facebook reports record profits

While it was a mixed bag of trading on Bay Street, Canada’s stock exchange managed to claw into positive territory for a sixth straight day.

The TSX moved up 56 points, but losses in the energy and financials sectors pinned the index near the flat line.

Pot stocks and precious metal mining stocks led the gains, with Aphria jumping 13.5 percent to $11.41 a share.

Aphria was the most heavily traded company on Bay Street. The Ontario–based cannabis producer has advised its shareholders to ‘take no action’ on a takeover offer from Green Growth Brands, until the company’s board of directors makes a formal recommendation to them.

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Aphria’s stock has been on the rise since the company reported second quarter net revenue of $21.7 million, up 63 percent from the previous quarter.

Mining stocks rode the wave of rising gold prices, led by a 27.4 percent surge in Eldorado Gold after the company announced that it will resume operations at its gold mine in Turkey.

In New York, the Dow was off by 15 points, weighted by broad-based losses among financial stocks, including a 2.3 percent drop in shares of Goldman Sachs.

On the side of the ledger, Facebook’s stock jumped 10.8 percent after the social media giant posting record quarterly profitsFacebook’s surge along with jumps in Nvidia and Amazon helped the tech-dependent Nasdaq gain 98 points.

Crude prices slipped 26 cents to $53.97 US a barrel, mainly due to profit taking among investors. Overall, oil posted its best January on record, sparked for the most part by global production cuts from the world’s largest exporters.

The Canadian dollar was flat, inching up 11/100ths of a cent to $0.7615 US while gold climbed to a nine-month high, gaining another $9.60 to $1,322 an ounce.

Elsewhere, as predicted by economists ahead of a StatsCan report, Canada’s economy shrunk in November.

StatsCan reported that real gross domestic product (GPD) edged down 0.1 percent in November, partly offsetting an increase of 0.3 percent in October.

According to StatsCan, increases in wholesale trade, finance and insurance, manufacturing and construction more than offset gains in 13 of 20 industrial sectors.

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