TSX Up Slightly at Open

Energy Gains Offset Material Losses

Equities in Toronto barely rose early on Wednesday, as higher oil prices helped boost energy stocks while gold miners and other materials stocks weighed and investors awaited a news conference from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

The S&P/TSX Composite advanced 17.25 points to lead off Wednesday’s session at 15,443.53

The Canadian dollar was unchanged at 75.49 cents U.S.

Corus Entertainment reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit for the 12th straight quarter, hurt by lower revenue at its television business on a pro-forma basis.

Corus shares dived 27 cents, or 2%, to $13.00.

Bombardier and Alstom consortium has won a French train contract estimated to be worth 1.16 billion euros for the consortium. The contract will see the consortium - in which Alstom owns 70% and Bombardier 30%- work to supply commuter trains for the Paris region.
Bombardier shares took on eight cents, or 3.2%, to $2.55.

Brookfield Asset Management said it had submitted alternative proposals regarding its interest in buying bankrupt solar company SunEdison Inc's "yieldco", TerraForm Power Inc. Brookfield said it would purchase all of TerraForm Power's outstanding shares for $11.50 in cash for a total consideration of $1.6 billion.

Brookfield shares gained six cents to $43.86.

National Bank Financial cut the rating on Atlantic Power Corp to underperform from sector perform.

Atlantic shares fell two cents to $3.47.

CIBC cut the price target on Hudson's Bay Co. to $12.50 from $18.00, saying the company is part of a long list of department store chains that are struggling to deliver sales or earnings growth.

Bay shares dipped 57 cents, or 5.6%, to $9.59.

CIBC raised the price target on Trican Well Service to $5.75 from $3.75 on the expected price range of the Keane IPO.

Trican shares were static at $5.21.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 0.13 points to 793.91

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the red Wednesday, with gold tailing off 2.5%, materials slumping 1%, and health-care ailing 0.2%.

The five gainers were led by energy, up 0.7%, information technology, advancing 0.6%, and financials, ahead 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. equities rose slightly on Wednesday, led by energy, as investors awaited Donald Trump's first news conference as president-elect.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 64.16 points to 19,919.69, with Merck contributing the most gains.

The S&P 500 acquired 2.74 points to 2,271.64, as energy advanced 0.7%.

The NASDAQ composite index backtracked 0.46 from Tuesday’s all-time high, at 5,551.36,

Trump's news conference is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. ET. Investors will pay close attention to Trump's comments as they look for clues about his proposed policies.

Stocks in the U.S. have rallied sharply since Trump's victory, amid hope that the incoming administration will cut corporate taxes, deregulate certain sectors and inject fiscal stimulus into the economy.

That said, some of the president-elect's tweets have raised concerns among investors. Since Nov. 8, Trump has taken to Twitter to criticize companies that planned to send jobs overseas rather than create them in the United States. He has also threatened to levy a high border tax against those firms.

Wall Street also braced itself for the start of earnings season, as banking giants JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, among others, are slated to report quarterly results on Friday.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were lower, raising yields to 2.39% from Tuesday’s 2.38%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 57 cents to $51.39 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices lost $3.60 to $1,181.90 U.S. an ounce.