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TSX Ends Modestly Higher; Technology Stocks Rise

After fluctuating between gains and losses till a little past noon on Tuesday, Canadian shares slowly gained in strength and eventually ended the day's session with modest gains.

Investors largely stayed cautious and looked ahead to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony before the Congress.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up by 44.29 points or 0.22% at 20,200.65, after scaling a low of 20,110.08 and a high of 20,244.20.

Information technology stocks BlackBerry (BB.TO), Kinaxis (KXS.TO) and Dye & Durham (DND.TO) gained 4.6%, 2.5% and 2.15%, respectively. Constellation Software (CSU.TO), Absolute Software Corp (ABST.TO), Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO) and Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) moved up 1.4 to 1.9%.

Consumer staples shares Empire Company (EMP.A.TO) and The North West Company (NWC.TO) moved up sharply.

Among consumer discretionary stocks, Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO), Spin Master Corp (TOY.TO) and Gildan Activewear (GIL.TO), Aritzia Inc (ATZ.TO), Dollarma Inc (DOL.TO) and Brp Inc (DOO.TO) ended with strong gains.

Energy stocks Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Enerplus Corp (ERF.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Arc Resources (ARX.TO) and Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) lost 1.4 to 2%.

Testifying before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged that inflation has increased notably in recent months but reiterated the view that the jump is due to "transitory" factors and predicted inflation would drop back toward the Fed's longer-run goal of 2% price growth.

The Fed chief noted the economy has shown sustained improvement since he last appeared before the committee, citing widespread Covid-19 vaccinations as well as unprecedented monetary and fiscal policy actions.

However, he also warned the coronavirus pandemic continues to pose risks to the economic outlook, pointing to the slowing pace of vaccinations and new strains of the virus.

Powell stressed that the Fed will do "everything we can to support the economy for as long as it takes to complete the recovery."

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