Among the major gainers was BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) which jumped 4.2 per cent to close at $67.25. There was a virtual rush for RIM stock after the Canadian wirelessly technology giant was upgraded from 'sell' to 'buy' by Citigroup.
This is the biggest one-day leap in RIM stock in recent months. Citigroup changed its rating on BlackBerry stock with a price target of $80 in the light of Nokia's deal with Microsoft Corp which will force carriers to switch from Nokia smart phones to BlackBerry.
Nokia's adoption of Windows Phone 7 will lead to 'multi-quarter gap in Nokia products and carrier promotion support,' according to Citigroup's analysis. As a result, Nokia, which controls 35 percent share of smart phone market compared to 3 percent for RIM, will lose market to BlackBerry.
"This promotion commotion shift away from Nokia to other OEMs ... will take center stage as Nokia loses share in the quarters ahead. While RIM's market share has seen some pressure of the last two quarters due to Android, we nonetheless believe that RIM should be able to capitalize on a confusing Nokia strategy,'' said Citigroup analyst Jim Suva.
The gains by RIM stock were line with those by other major tech shares in New York, including Dell which zoomed 12 percent to $15.56 to post its biggest one-day surge since 2008 after the Texas-based computer giant reported almost three-fold jump in fourth-quarter profits.
The stock of major Canadian energy companies also surged on the Toronto market - Suncor Energy up by 3.7 percent to $43.45 and Canadian Natural Resources up 4.6 percent to $46.55 - after reports of rising oil inventory by the US Energy Information Administration. Major Canadian banks, including the Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank, and Scotiabank and CIBC were also up on Toronto and New York exchanges.
The strong Canadian dollar, which is already floating above parity with the US currency, rose further 0.49 cents US to close at 101.53 cents US despite a slight downturn in the Canadian manufacturing sector in December. The Toronto Stock Exchange had reached Wednesday's levels in mid-2008 just before the global meltdown started.
At the end of the day, the TSX composite index closed at 14,059 points - up 129.83 points.