Closing Bell TSX ends slightly higher on building permits data while US

TORONTO — North American markets made modest gains Monday as traders held back from any major moves following the record-breaking highs of last week.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 12,453.92 +15.89 0.13%S&P 500 — 1,617.50 +3.08 0.19%Dow — 14,968.89 -5.07 -0.03%Nasdaq — 3,392.97 +14.34 0.42%The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 15.89 points to 12,453.92 as Statistics Canada reported that building permits were up for the third consecutive month in March.The Canadian dollar was up 0.09 of a cent at 99.32 cents US, after going through small declines earlier in the day.Market analyst Colin Cieszynski said it’s not unusual for markets to pause during a quiet week after taking in so much major economic news days earlier.“We had such a huge run and we had so much news last week that often times, the markets will sit back, take a breather afterwards and digest the news already out there,” said Cieszynski, with CMC Markets.Cieszynski said the markets have held up well despite not much going on.“They’re flat and slightly positive (which) actually suggests that there’s really good underlying support,” he added.The only major economic data scheduled for the week are the latest Canadian job numbers which come out Friday. Consensus expectations suggest the economy added about 11,000 jobs in April.On Monday, Statistics Canada reported municipalities issued $6.5 billion worth of building permits last month, up 8.6% from February.Most of the gains were from the commercial sector in Ontario and Alberta, with those permits rising 19% to $2.8 billion. Residential permits increased 1.7% to $3.6 billion after an 8.1% decline in February.Meanwhile, Wall Street saw some gains after being mixed after markets opened.The Dow Jones industrials was down 5.07 points at 14,968.89 after breaking through 15,000 for the first time on Friday. The S&P stayed above its record of 1,600, which it hit on Friday and closed up 3.08 points to 1,617.50. The Nasdaq jumped ahead 14.34 points to 3,392.97.In commodities, the June crude contract rose 55 cents to settle at US$96.16 a barrel, its highest close since April 2, according to FactSet data. June gold bullion was up $3.80 at US$1,468 an ounce and July copper was down nearly half a cent at US$3.31 a pound.The energy sector closed flat, registering a small gain of 0.11% on the TSX, helped by strong gains of 1.82% by TransGlobe Energy Corp. (TSX:TGL) ahead of their earnings on Tuesday.Shares in Penn West Exploration Ltd. (TSX:PWT) closed up 5.05% at $9.99 after the oil and gas company named two prominent oilpatch veterans as chairman and vice-chairman.The energy sector was pulled down slightly by the sudden news that the president of Athabasca Oil (TSX:ATH) was leaving the company. The announcement sent the company’s stock down 5.4% to $5.96.June gold bullion was up $3.80 at US$1,468 an ounce as the gold sector grew, aided by Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) who saw their share price go up by 1.54% to $20.46.July copper was down 0.04 of a cent at US$3.31 a pound. The majority of the sector was positive, with the leaders being Sherritt International (TSX:S), Thompson Creek Metals (TSX:TCM) and Rio Alto Mining.The TSX closed with mixed results, led by industrials which was up 0.71% and metals and mining with a gain of 0.37%. The worst decliner was consumer staples, which dropped 0.78%.In major corporate news, private equity firm Onex Corp. (TSX:OCX) says it will pay US$950 million in cash to acquire business-to-business trade show operator Nielsen Expositions. The purchase, from an affiliate of Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE:NLSN), is expected to close in the second quarter.Smartphone-maker BlackBerry (TSX:BB) also saw its shares dip 0.19% to $15.74 after an analyst with Canaccord Genuity said sales of the new Z10 phones are “mixed.”The Z10 touchscreen device sales trends are weakening, he said citing the research firm’s global survey, while the Q10 keyboard has seen “strong initial demand” since its release less than a week ago in Canada and a few days earlier in the U.K.On Tuesday, all eyes will be on a long list of major companies set to report their earnings, including WestJet (TSX:WJA.A), Kinross Gold Corp (TSX:K) and George Weston Ltd. (TSX:WN).In the U.S., meat processing giant Tyson Foods was the leading decliner on the S&P 500 after its stock fell more than three% to US$24.10 on news that its income dropped as chicken feed costs rose and profits fell in its beef business. Tyson’s latest quarterly net income sank 42%.News that Bank of America and bond-insurance company MBIA had reached a settlement over a long-running dispute helped send both companies’ stocks up. Bank of America closed at $12.88 after falling 5.23%, while shares in MBIA were up nearly 50% to $14.29. The Wall Street Journal reported the bank will pay $1.7 billion to MBIA and also extend a credit line to the troubled company.ON DECK TUESDAYI feel sorry for savers suffering ‘brutal’ yields, says Warren BuffettEuro founder calls for ‘catastrophic’ currency to be broken upBCE cites Netflix threat as it floats ‘sharpened’ proposal for $3.4-billion Astral takeoverPenn West stock soars after oil patch veterans appointed as chair, vice-chairAthabasca shares dive as president exits companyECONOMIC NEWSUNITED STATES3 p.m.Consumer Credit (March): Economists expect $16-billion CORPORATE NEWSCANADAWestJet Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 63¢ Kinross Gold Corp Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 13¢ Intact Financial Q2 earnings: Analysts expect $1.32 UNITED STATESWalt Disney Co Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 76¢ a share Electronic Arts Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 58¢ Marathon Oil Co Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 72¢ Whole Foods Market Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 73¢ Molson Coors Brewing Co Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 34¢

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