TORONTO — The Toronto Stock Exchange closed higher Thursday despite a pullback on Wall Street amid a round of disappointing reports that suggested the U.S. economy is not recovering as much as some would like to believe.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 12,507.60 +33.95 0.27%S&P 500 — 1,650.47 -8.31 -0.50%Dow — 15,233.22 -42.47 -0.28%Nasdaq — 3,465.24 -6.38 -0.18%The S&P/TSX composite index rose 33.95 points to 12,507.60, while the Canadian dollar fell 0.19 of a cent to 98.12 cents US.It was a different story on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones index retreated 42.47 points to 15,233.22 and the S&P 500 fell 8.31 points to 1,650.47. The Nasdaq dipped 6.38 points to 3,465.24.The declines came after a reported speech by John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, who said the U.S. central bank will consider stopping its monthly US$85- billion bond purchases if the economy continues to improve.The indexes were also driven down by a flurry of weaker-than-expected figures.The U.S. Labor Department reported the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose by 32,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 360,000, the most since late March. The jump comes after applications fell to a five-year low. The U.S. economy has added an average of 208,000 jobs a month since November but most of the job gains have come from fewer layoffs — not increased hiring.“It does reflect a confluence of factors and some of it’s the system drag we’ve been looking for and you’re seeing creeping into the economy,” said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist with TD Wealth Management.“It isn’t the end of the world, but I do think it brings people back to the reality of the situation — that we have below average growth, not horrific but not great. And I think the market is reacting in a very muted fashion.”Meanwhile, U.S. officials also reported that inflation fell last month as a result of a 8.1% drop in gasoline prices. The consumer price index was down 0.4% in April from March. For the 12 months that ended in April, overall prices rose 1.1% — the smallest year-over-year increase in 2 1/2 years.The rate is still below the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two% inflation target, which it says it needs to meet before ending quantative easing.Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said U.S. builders started housing construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 853,000 in April, a 16.5% drop from the March pace of 1.02 million. But applications for building permits rose 14.3% to a rate of 1.02 million, the highest in five years.In corporate news, the world’s largest retailer reported its first-quarter profit rose 1.1% as it struggled with a sales slump. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. blamed a payroll tax increase, delayed tax refunds and bad weather for the profit and sales results that missed Wall Street expectations. It also offered a profit outlook that came in below analysts’ projections. Its shares were down nearly two%, or $1.36, at US$78.50.Gorman said Wal-Mart’s dismal earnings may be showing the effects of increased Social Security taxes that kicked in earlier this year, resulting in consumers having less money for discretionary spending.In Toronto, the industrials sector was the leading advancer, up by 1.21% as shares by flight simulator and training company CAE Inc. (TSX:CAE) closed above its 52-week high by gaining more than six%, or 66 cents, to $11.26.The Montreal-based company reported it earned $43.8 million or 17 cents per share for the period ended March 31, down from $53.2 million, or 21 cents per share a year ago. However, excluding $10.1 million of restructuring, integration and acquisition costs, it earned $53.9 million or 21 cents per share. Revenue in what was the company’s fourth quarter grew to $587.9 million from $506.7 million last year.Telus (TSX:T) announced that it was prepared to buy small wireless carrier Mobilicity as part of a $380-million deal. The purchase is subject to various conditions, including approval by the Competition Bureau and Industry Canada and by Mobilicity’s debtholders. Telus shares climbing more than one%, or 39 cents, to $37.34Commodity prices also showed some small gains. The June crude contract jumped 86 cents to US$95.16 a barrel, while July copper was up three cents at US$3.29 a pound. But June gold bullion dropped $9.30 to US$1,386.90 an ounce.What investors were watching today:ON DECK FRIDAYTelus throws Mobilicity a lifeline with $380-million dealGold is tanking again, but Soros at least saw it comingToday’s ugly data is raising questions about strength of U.S. economy At BlackBerry Live, rumours of possible phablet steal showECONOMIC NEWSCANADA8:30 a.m.Consumer price index (April): Economists expect no increase from the month before, 0.6% rise year over year Wholesale trade (March): Economists expect 0.4% rise UNITED STATES9:55 a.m.University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (May): Economists expect a reading of 78, up from last month 10 a.m.Leading indicators (April): Economists expect a rise of 0.2% read more

“The complex peace and security challenges we face in Africa are such that neither the United Nations nor the African Union can address the challenges on their own”, Sahle-Work Zewde, the UN Special Representative to the AU and Head of the UN Office there (UNOAU), told the UN Security Council.“As the Secretary-General noted during his briefing to the AU Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa last week, the African Union is the most important strategic partner between the United Nations and a regional organization in peace and security, development and human rights,” she added.The two organization have prioritized the development of a systematic, predictable and strategic partnership, based on mutual respect, shared values and comparative advantage, Ms. Zewde noted.The UN and AU signed the Joint Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security in April last year, and the Joint Framework for Implementation of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in January 2018.The partnership has since been “characterized by closer collaboration, more regular exchange of information and consultations, and coordinated action including joint field visits and joint statements”, she said.Ms. Zewde was briefing the UN Security Council on the Secretary-General’s report on strengthening the partnership between the two organizations on issues of peace and security in Africa, including the work of her Office.A key point of the report is that the UN and the AU recognize their inter-dependence.They also need to recognize the critical role of sub-regional organizations, which are often the first to detect early warning signs of impending conflict, and are important partners in promoting dialogue and reconciliation.She stressed however, that even though the UN-AU relationship is stronger than ever, they need to work even more closely.She also underscored the importance of conflict resolution by reacting quickly and decisively to head off conflict before it escalates, while ensuring African ownership of this process.In the report, the Secretary-General has expressed his support for the financing of AU-led peace support operations authorized by the Security Council, including through UN assessed contributions.It is also essential that the issue of predictable and sustainable financing for AU peace operations authorized by the Security Council is – on a case-by-case basis – framed within the context of a mutually-agreed political strategy, and informed by joint analysis, she added. read more