Closing Bell Toronto stock market ends higher as traders focus on Fed

The Toronto stock market closed higher on Tuesday as investors reacted to positive economic data on both sides of the border and hope the U.S. Federal Reserve could provide a jolt of energy to the economy.The S&P/TSX composite index rose 187.23 points to end at 11,788.36. The TSX Venture Exchange was up 4.63 points at 1,264.38. The Canadian dollar gained US0.56¢ to US98.21¢.Traders expect the Fed will unveil a plan to stimulate the economy at the end of its two-day meeting, which began Tuesday. It’s expected to extend Operation Twist, under which it sold $400 billion in short-term securities and replaced them with long-term securities in an effort to put more downward pressure on long-term rates.Meanwhile, Wall Street also found some optimism in the latest housing data.The U.S. Commerce Department said overall housing starts fell 4.8% in May, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000. However, the report showed that U.S. builders started work on more single-family homes, which suggested a slow recovery in the housing market.The Dow Jones industrial average increased 95.51 points to 12,837.33. The Nasdaq composite index rose 34.43 points to 2,929.76 and the S&P 500 index was up 13.20 points at 1,357.98.In commodities, the July crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 76¢ to US$84.03 a barrel.July copper was down half a cent at US$3.43 a pound, while August gold was down $5.40 at US$1,6221.60 an ounce.TSX gold stocks were the sole decliner, dropping 0.7%, while the metals and mining sector was up 3%.“Investors are realizing right now that the markets are cheap,” said Craig Fehr, Canadian markets strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Mo.“There’s been a tremendous discount placed on this market because of what’s going on in Europe, while if you just look purely at the fundamentals … it’s by no measure a standout, but it’s likely to continue to be a positive. If you can manage to look past Europe for a couple seconds, the markets look a lot brighter.”In corporate developments, fuel cell company Ballard Power Systems cut its 2012 sales guidance and said Monday it now expects an adjusted operating loss due to delays in signing a deal in Brazil. Revenue is expected to total about $85 million for the year, down from an earlier estimate of $100-million. Ballard shares were up 2¢ at $1.14.World stock markets were largely flat as relief from Greece’s election results evaporated amid worries that the financial crisis in the 17 countries that use the euro is far from over.Here are the closing numbers:TSX — 11,788.36, +187.23S&P 500 — 1,357.88, +13.10Dow —  12,843.23, +01.41  Nasdaq — 2,927.90, +32.57 Here’s the news investors were watching today:Spain’s debt costs reach alarm levelsCanadian housing boom to grind to a haltWalgreen to buy 45% of Alliance Boots for $6.7-billionBombardier to begin CSeries testing in JulyON DECK WEDNESDAYECONOMIC NEWS UNITED STATES12:30 a.m.U.S. Federal Reserve announces interest rate and policy decisions 2:15 a.m.Press conference with U.S. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke CEO economic outlook survey CORPORATE NEWSUNITED STATESGoodrich Corp Q2 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.71 a share Bed Bath & Beyond Inc Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 84¢ a share Red Hat Inc. Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 27¢ a share

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