TSX closes at record high

The benchmark index of the Toronto Stock Exchange hit an all-time high Monday, boosted by big gains in a couple of heavyweight stocks.

The benchmark index of the Toronto Stock Exchange closed at an all-time high Monday, boosted by big gains in a couple of heavyweight stocks.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 145 points to end the trading day at 14,666, shattering the previous high close of 14,625 reached on July 19 last year.

Two stocks in particular were driving Monday's gains. Research in Motion shares jumped $8.90 to $142.25 after it announced its new Bold smart phone. Oil and gas giant EnCana shares were up $5.68 to a close of $92.20 after it announced plans to split into two separate companies.

But the rise in the TSX to record territory is much more than a two-stock, one-day story. It has its longer-term roots in the spectacular rise in the price of energy and other commodity stocks, driven by record prices for oil, potash, and copper.

Since the recent market bottom in late January, the S&P/TSX composite index has risen more than 22 per cent, far outpacing U.S. exchanges.

Since the start of the year, the TSX market has jumped 6.1 per cent, while the Dow Jones industrial average has slipped 3.3 per cent and the Nasdaq composite index has dropped 7.1 per cent.