Canada's main stock index opened little changed on Wednesday as gains in shares of natural resource companies and banks were offset by a drop in Valeant Pharmaceuticals after it gave a weaker-than-expected revenue forecast.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index dipped 14.19 points to open Wednesday at 15,656.96
The Canadian dollar fell 0.16 cents to 78.14 cents U.S.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals reported a profit in the fourth quarter compared to a year-earlier loss, as it booked a one-time benefit because of new U.S. tax laws.
Valeant shares dissolved $2.57, or 10.8%, to $21.18.
Laurentian Bank of Canada said it was continuing to review problematic mortgages sold to an unnamed third party last year and may need to repurchase more of the loans.
Laurentian shares gained 15 cents to $52.65.
Eight Capital raised the target price on Bank of Montreal to $109.00 from $106.00. BMO shares gained 18 cents to $98.38.
RBC raised the target price on Bank of Nova Scotia to $95.00 from $92.00. Scotiabank nicked up 11 cents to $79.99
CIBC cut the target price on Power Corporation of Canada to $33.00 from $34.00. Power shares hiked 20 cents to $33.52.
The Trudeau government tackled long-term growth challenges on Tuesday in a budget aimed at boosting women in the workforce and diversifying trade, while keeping its fiscal powder dry in case of an economic shock like the demise of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
On the data front, Statistics Canada said its industrial product price index rose 0.3% in January, mainly due to higher prices for energy and petroleum products.
The agency also said its raw material price index increased 3.3% during the same month, primarily as a result of higher prices for crude energy products, during the same month.
The TSX Venture Exchange inched up 2.51 points to 817.69
Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups lost ground, particularly health-care, dropping 2.7%, while industrials and financials lost 0.1% each
The five gainers were led by information technology, marching ahead 0.6%, while utilities took on 0.3%, and consumer staples were better by 0.1%.
U.S. stocks traded higher on Wednesday as interest rates stabilized, putting the major averages closer to the levels seen before their 10% pullback.
The Dow Jones Industrials recovered 135.48 points to start Wednesday at 25,545.51, with United Technologies as the best-performing stock in the index.
The S&P 500 added 14.26 points to 2,758.54, with tech climbing 0.8%
The NASDAQ Composite strengthened 42.21 points to 7,372.56, as shares of Amazon, Netflix and Apple all rose.
Wednesday also marked the last trading day of the month. Entering the session, the Dow and S&P 500 were on track to snap 10-month winning streaks, their longest since 1959. The NASDAQ was set to post a monthly loss for the first time in eight months.
In corporate news, home improvement retailer Lowe's reported weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings, sending the company's stock down nearly 8%.
Booking Holdings — formerly known as Priceline — saw its shares spike more than 8% after reporting better-than-expected adjusted earnings.
Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained slightly, lowering yields to 2.88% from Tuesday’s 2.90%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices increased 11 cents a barrel to $63.12 U.S.
Gold prices were unchanged at $1,318.60 U.S. an ounce.