Futures Point Slightly Higher

Aphria, MTY in Focus

Canada's main stock index future rose on Monday, supported by firmer gold prices against the backdrop of global concerns related to rising coronavirus cases.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 145.18 points to finish out Friday and the week at 15,713.82. On the week, the gain was 117 points, or 0.75%.

September futures crept 0.1% Monday.

The Canadian dollar inched up 0.14 cents Monday to 73.74 cents U.S.

Stifel raised the target price on Aphria to $8.00 from $5.30

TD Securities raised the price target on MTY Food Group to $28.00 from $24.00

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange surged 12.75 points, or 1.9%, on Friday to 684.71. Over the last five sessions, the index climbed an amazing 51.7 points, or 8.17%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stock futures extended their gains after Pfizer and German biotech BioNTech SE were granted fast track designation by the FDA for two of the companies’ four vaccine candidates against the coronavirus.

Futures for Dow Jones Industrials surged 213 points, or 0.8%, early Monday, to 26,190.

Futures for the S&P 500 gained 22.25 points, or 0.7%, at 3,200.75.

Futures for the NASDAQ jumped 90.75 points, or 0.8%, to 10,928.

The Dow and the S&P 500 are coming off two consecutive weeks of gains, while the resilience in tech shares pushed the Nasdaq to a new record after three straight positive weeks.

For July, the Dow jumped 1% and the S&P 500 has risen 2.7%,. The tech-heavy NASDAQ outperformed, climbing 10.7% this month as Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Alphabet all reclaimed new highs.

Pfizer shares added 2%. BioNTech jumped 5%. Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect to start the next phase of the vaccine trial later this month with 30,000 subjects. The companies expect to have 100 million doses of a vaccine by the end of 2020 and more than 1.2 billion doses by the end of 2021.

The news helped investors look past a record spike in coronavirus cases in Florida. Tech shares also rose in the pre-market.

Florida reported 15,299 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest single day total for any U.S. state since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has reported more than 60,000 new cases daily for three days in a row now, bringing the national total to more than three million cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Key technology shares climbed in premarket, continuing their mystifying run as investors bet on their resilience during the coronavirus. Apple, Amazon and Netflix were higher in pre-market trading. Tesla jumped 5%.

Chip stocks increased after Analog Devices offered to buy Maxim Integrated in a $21 billion all-stock deal. Maxim jumped 17% in pre-market trading.

Stocks which will benefit from a successful reopening of the economy gained despite the case increase. United Airlines added 2% in the pre-market. Carnival Corp. added 1%. Disney, which opened its Orlando theme park over the weekend, gained 0.7%.

Corporate profits are expected to fall by 44% in the second quarter, which would be the biggest drop in quarterly earnings since the fourth quarter of 2008. However, the market could shrug off the sharp profit decline as long as companies signal a recovery on the horizon.
JPMorgan shares gained about 1% in pre-market trading.

Overseas, in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 heightened 2.2% Monday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index nicked ahead 0.2%.

Oil prices sagged 61 cents to $39.94 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices picked up $11.50 to $1,813.40.