Business Report AFTER THE BELL: TSX rises on buoyant jobs, sales data; tech sector propels U.S. markets SHARE ON: Troy Landreville, staff Thursday, Mar. 21st, 2019 Investors were in a buying mood on Bay Street, spurred by positive jobs and sales data. Increases in nine of 11 sectors pushed the TSX 77 points higher. On the employment front, ADP Canada said that the nation added 36,200 jobs in February, led by hires in professional and business services. Meanwhile StatsCanada reported today that wholesale sales rose 0.6 percent to $63.5 billion in January, marking a second consecutive monthly gain. Sales were up in five of seven subsectors, representing 70 percent of total wholesale sales. According to StatsCan, the machinery, equipment and supplies and the personal and household goods subsectors led the gains. In volume terms, wholesale sales increased 0.7 percent. But the index was held back somewhat by drops in the cannabis stock-tied health care sector as well as the influential financials sector. Popular cannabis producers Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth, and the Green Organic Dutchman edged lower, while bank stocks also fell. After eclipsing the $60 mark for the first time since November, oil prices slipped 35 cents to $59.88 US a barrel. In New York, a rise in tech stocks drove the market with the Dow gaining 216 points and the Nasdaq up by 104 points. Shares in Apple surged 3.6 percent after a Needham analyst upgraded the tech giant’s stock value. Micron shares also jumped, up 9.6 percent after the chipmaker released better-than-expected second quarter earnings. Also boosting sentiment on Wall Street was the U.S. Federal Reserve saying it doesn’t expect to raise interest rates this year. The Canadian dollar faded, down 37/100ths of a cent to $0.7478 US while gold added $7.00 to $1,308 an ounce.