Stocks Flat To End Thursday

Techs Hike, Gold Fades

Stocks in Toronto straddled the flat-line by the closing bell on Thursday, as weak performance by the gold and materials sectors counteracted strength among tech and financials.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index stayed positive – but barely – 3.52 points to close Thursday at 15,277.20

The Canadian dollar slipped 0.11 cents to 73.5 cents U.S.

Techs led the parade, with Norsat International picking up 31 cents, or 2.1%, to $15.10, while BlackBerry turned out unchanged at $13.76.

In the financials field, Manulife bolted 39 cents, or 1.7%, to $23.10, while the beleaguered Home Capital Group battled higher 18 cents, or 2.1%, to $8.87.

Industrials impressed, too, as Canadian National Railways climbed 72 cents to $99.94, while Velan Inc. jumped $1.95, or 10.9%, to $19.80.

Gold paled by comparison, however, as Barrick Gold suffered a loss of 80 cents, or 3.4%, to $22.46, while Kinross Gold dropped 10 cents, or 1.7%, to $5.74.

In the materials sector, First Quantum Minerals took some knocks 31 cents, or 2.6%, to $11.56, while Agnico Eagle Mines subtracted $1.01. or 1.5%, to $66.38.

Economically speaking, Statistics Canada reported those Canadians drawing regular employment insurance benefits numbered 551,100 in March, down 2,900, or 0.5%, from February.

Moreover, the agency said, foreign investment in Canadian securities amounted to $15.1 billion in March, largely in Canadian corporate instruments. At the same time, Canadian investors boosted their foreign holdings to $15.4 billion, led by acquisitions of U.S. equities.


The TSX Venture Exchange skidded 6.9 points to 800.88

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher on the day, with information technology clicking 1%, financials richer 0.7%, and industrials stronger 0.6%.

The four laggards were weighed most by gold, down 2.2%, materials, sliding 1.5%, and utilities, off 0.3%.


U.S. stocks closed higher on Thursday, recovering from their worst day of 2017, as investors assessed President Donald Trump's chances of moving forward with his pro-growth agenda.

The Dow Jones Industrials Average gained 56.09 points to 20,663.02, with UnitedHealth contributing the most gains. Cisco Systems, though, fell 7.2% after the company issued weak guidance.

The S&P 500 stayed above water 8.69 points to 2,365.72, with telecommunications advancing 1.2% to lead advancers.

The NASDAQ marched ahead 43.89 points to 6,055.13.

Among companies reporting earnings Thursday are Gap Inc., Hibbett Sports and Perry Ellis.

Stocks hit their session highs Thursday after a video from earlier in the month circulated on trading floors that some traders falsely interpreted as former FBI Director James Comey saying he was never pressured to end an FBI probe.

In the video, however, Comey is answering a question specific to the U.S. Attorney General or "senior officials at the Department of Justice," not Trump.

In economic news, weekly jobless claims totaled 232,000, below the expected 240,000. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve business index rose to 38.8 in May from 22.0 in April.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were slightly lower, raising yields to 2.23% from Wednesday’s 2.22%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices recouped 26 cents at $49.33 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices gave back $9.90 at $1,248.80 U.S. an ounce.