Stocks power higher for a 4th day in Toronto, New York

The Toronto and New York markets powered higher for a fourth straight session Tuesday, on some strong earnings reports and news that the European Central Bank was buying bonds.

Data out of China showed the economy there is growing at 7.5 per cent, a five-year low but better than investors had feared.

The S&P/TSX index was up 1.5 per cent or 209.4 points to 14,547.71 at the close.

The Canadian dollar was ahead 0.43 of a cent to 89.05 cents US.

Most TSX sectors advanced with the base metals sector in the lead, rising 2.2 per cent as December copper was ahead four cents to US$3.03 a pound.

The energy sector was up 1.45 per cent, as November crude closed 10 cents higher at $82.81 US.

A strong earnings report from CP Rail helped improve sentiment, with the railway saying third-quarter profit was up 23 per cent.

Traders continued to snap up stocks beaten down over the course of a market sell-off that started last month over worries about the global economy.

The European Central Bank has started buying covered bonds Monday in a bid to revive the euro zone economy and keep deflation at bay. It will also start buying bundled loans or asset-backed securities (ABS) later this year, having now cut its main interest rate to almost zero.​

European markets moved higher today, perhaps in response to the reports of the intervention, which makes credit even cheaper than it is now.

In New York, the Dow was up 215.14 at 16,614.81, the S&P 500 rose 37.27 points tp 1,941.28 and the Nasdaq jumped 103.41 or 2.4 per cent to 4,419.48.

The S&P 500 has surged more than 3.5 per cent in the past four days for its biggest rally since February on better-than-estimated earnings and speculation the Federal Reserve will boost stimulus if growth slows. 

Apple’s earnings, released after the bell Monday, showed an increase in fourth quarter earnings of 20 per cent and iPhone sales of 39.3 million.

An upbeat forecast from the tech giant help start the day on a positive note. Strong earnings from Verizon help reinforce the sentiment.

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