Stocks Climb by Noon

Health-Care, Energy on Upward Trend

Equities in Toronto found their feet midday Monday as shares of energy companies were lifted by higher crude prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index moved higher 32.56 points to greet noon at 16,520.68.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.12 cents to 76.64 cents U.S.

Among the big gainers were Seven Generations Energy, which jumped 31 cents, or 4.6%, to $7.08, and First Quantum Minerals, which rose 33 cents, or 2.9% to $11.76.

Transcontinental Inc fell $1.20, or 8.2%, to $13.40, the most on the TSX after National Bank of Canada lowered its rating on the stock.

The second biggest decliner was Stella-Jones Inc, down $3.28, or 7%, to $43.58, after the company's chief executive officer said he would step down.

On the economic front, home sales recorded via Canadian MLS® Systems were little changed in June 2019 following a string of monthly gains recorded in March, April and May.

The Canadian Real Estate Association also says that, although running close to its 10-year average and up nearly 10% from the six-year low reached in February 2019, activity remains well below levels recorded over much of 2015, 2016 and 2017.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange moved up 2.96 points to pause for lunch Monday at 578.99

All but two of the 12 Toronto subgroups were in the green by noon, as health-care sprinted 2.1%, information technology picked up 1.2%, and energy surged 0.5%.

The two laggards were consumer staples, fading 0.5%, and gold, dulling in price 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks slipped after reaching record highs on Monday as Wall Street remained cautious to start off the corporate earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average stepped back 14.42 points from their all-time high to 27,317.61,

The S&P 500 lost 1.97 points to 3,011.80, from Friday’s all-time high.

The NASDAQ Composite inched higher 1.44 points to 8,245.49.

The major indexes notched fresh record highs at the open before pulling back from those levels.

Citigroup kicked off the earnings season by reporting second-quarter numbers which topped analyst expectations. Gains from the initial public offering of Tradeweb, an electronic bond trading platform, drove the bank’s results past Wall Street estimates.

Citigroup shares traded higher in the pre-market after the results were released, but traded more than 1% lower shortly after the open.

Other big banks like J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs are expected to report quarterly earnings later this week.

The outlook for this earnings season is bleak. Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to have fallen by 3% in the second quarter.

Symantec shares plunged more than 14% after media reports the company ceased deal negotiations with Broadcom.

Monday’s moves come after the major indexes had a record-setting week as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated during congressional testimony that an interest-rate cut could be on the horizon from the central bank. The Dow closed above 27,000 for the first time on Thursday and Friday’s gain brought its increase on the week to 1.5%.

Meanwhile, China’s economic growth slowed to 6.2% in the second-quarter from a year earlier, its weakest pace in at least 27 years, as the trade war with the U.S. took its toll.

Still, China’s gross domestic product growth was in line with expectations, and data for industrial production, retail sales, and fixed-asset investment came in above analyst expectations.

President Donald Trump commented on the Chinese economic data, tweeting that the slowdown in economic growth is "why China wants to make a deal."

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury eked up, lowering yields to 2.10% from Friday’s 2.11%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were unchanged at $60.21 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices added $1.30 to $1,413.50 U.S. an ounce.