Futures Point Upward

CP, BMO in Focus

Stock futures pointed to a higher opening for Canada's main stock index on Friday, as investors anticipated monthly manufacturing sales data that were expected to be higher.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 42.23 points Thursday to 16,284.47

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.09 cents to 80.41 cents U.S. Friday morning.

March futures advanced 0.2% Friday.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd said on Thursday it is weighing strategic deals to boost crude-by-rail shipments in 2018, after reporting fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates.

Credit Suisse raised the price target on Bank of Montreal to $107.00 from $103.00

RBC raised the target price on Maple Leaf Foods to $38.00 from $37.00

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported manufacturing sales rose 3.4% to a record high $55.5 billion in November, mainly due to higher sales in the transportation equipment, petroleum and coal product and chemical industries.

Investment by foreigners in Canadian securities amounted to $19.6 billion in November, mainly purchases of Canadian bonds. Meanwhile, Canadian investors reduced their holdings of foreign securities by $4.6 billion, following strong acquisitions in October.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 8.17 points Thursday to 876.79

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures posted gains ahead of the open on Friday, as investors paid close attention to the political space, as government shutdown concerns continue to linger.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials moved upward 34 points, or 0.1%, to 25,975

S&P 500 futures gained 2.75 points, or 0.1%, to 2,799, while futures on the NASDAQ Composite progressed 17.5 points, or 0.3%, to 6,830.50

Earnings will likely move the needle somewhat during trade. Schlumberger, Citizens Financial, SunTrust and Synchrony Financial are some of the names set to report financial updates.

In data news, consumer sentiment is due out at 10 a.m. ET. On the U.S. central bank front, two speeches by Federal Reserve members are set to take place

On Thursday night, the House of Representatives passed a bill to avoid a government shutdown, forwarding it to the Senate. In all, 60 votes are needed from the Senate to pass the spending bill in order to get it sent to President Donald Trump's desk.

Whether enough votes will emerge remains up in the air, as several Democrats have committed to voting down the bill. Congress has to pass the bill by the end of Friday to avoid a shutdown.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index recovered 0.2%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gained 0.4%.

Oil prices dropped 89 cents to $63.06 U.S. per barrel.

Gold prices picked up $7.40 to $1,334.60 U.S. an ounce.