TSX Opens Solid

Equitable, Air Canada in Focus

The TSX Composite Index still had some hop in its step, gaining 51.9 points to open Wednesday at 16,733.82

The Canadian dollar sagged 0.15 cents to 75.88 cents U.S.

Barrick Gold’s quarterly adjusted profit nearly tripled, as the world’s second-largest gold producer benefited from higher gold output and prices. Barrick gained 51 cents, or 2.3%, to $22.29.

Bombardier said it had alleviated technical problems that have held up deliveries of trains to Swiss Federal Railways as the Canadian plane-and-train-maker aims to complete the long-delayed contract by mid-2021. Bombardier trailed Tuesday’s close 2.5 cents, or 1.3%, to $1.895

JPMorgan raised the rating on Air Canada to "overweight" from "neutral". Shares in the Maple Leaf Airline heightened $1.10, or 2.3%, to $48.16.

RBC raised the price target on Equitable Group to $137.00 from $120.00. Equitable hiked $3.21, or 2.8%, to 119.20.

Canaccord Genuity raised the price target on Gibson Energy to $28.00 from $26.00. Gibson shares dipped 21 cents to $24.39.

Desjardins raised the price target on goeasy Ltd. to $72.00 from $67.00. Goeasy shares popped $3.65, or 6%, to $64.58.

On the macroeconomic side, Western University’s IVEY School of Business issued its Purchasing Managers Index for October this morning. The PMI dipped yet again in October, to 48.2, from September's 48.7, and from the towering 61.7 reading in October 2018

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange nicked up 0.01 points at 538.67

All but three of the 12 Toronto subgroups were positive, headed by consumer staples and information technology, each up 0.5%, and financials, better by 0.4%.

The three laggards proved to be energy, down 0.4%, while consumer discretionaries gave back 0.1%, and materials lost 0.02%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks were little changed on Wednesday, struggling to sustain the recent rally that drove major averages to record highs.

The Dow Jones Industrials eked ahead 0.66 points to a new record of 27,493.29,

The S&P 500 edged up 0.83 points to 3,075.45

The NASDAQ narrowly dropped 22.66 points, to 8,412.02, as big tech including Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook all underperformed.

The Dow’s year-to-date gain now stands at nearly 18% after rallying 3.3% in the past month. The S&P 500 is up more than 22% this year after surging 4% in the past month.

HP surged more than 12% following media reports that Xerox has made a cash-and-stock offer for the personal-computer and printer maker. CVS Health rose 3.5% on stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings.

Qualcomm, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Fox Corp, and Papa John’s are among those due to report after the bell.

Corporate profits have been largely solid this earnings season as 75% of S&P 500 companies to report thus far have topped analysts’ expectations.

Stocks were also boosted by better-than-expected economic data. A gauge for U.S. services activities topped expectations for October, while the labour market remains solid as jobs creation easily beat estimate last month.

However, productivity south of the border dropped by the most since the fourth quarter of 2015 during the third quarter, the U.S. Labor Department said on Wednesday.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury eased up, lowering yields to 1.83% from Tuesday’s 1.85%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 48 cents to $57.71 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices regained $4.70 to $1,488.40 U.S. an ounce.