Slight Gains Foreseen for Toronto Market

AutoCanada, Cameco in Spotlight

Futures for equities in Canada’s largest market inched up on Wednesday, aided by gains in commodity prices, while investors awaited domestic inflation readings.

The S&P/TSX Composite tumbled 262.88 points, or 1.2%, by Tuesday’s close to 21,274.57.

The Canadian dollar surged 0.11 cents to 80.12 cents U.S.

March futures took on 0.1% Wednesday.

CIBC raised the target price on AutoCanada to $49.00 from $48.50

CIBC initiated coverage on Cameco Corp. with an outperform rating and $37.00 price target.

Jefferies raised the target price on First Quantum Minerals to $45.00 from $40.00.

On the macroeconomic front, Statistics Canada reported that its consumer price index rose 4.8% on a year-over-year basis in December, up from a 4.7% gain in November.

On a monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.3% in December.

Moreover, wholesale sales grew for the fourth consecutive month, up 3.5% in November.

Elsewhere, British Columbia’s top health official said the westernmost province will allow gyms to open from Thursday, but other restrictions will stay in place until Feb. 16 as the health-care system continues to be impacted by COVID-19.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange descended 18.85 points, or 2.1%, Tuesday to 890.86.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock futures were slightly higher early Wednesday following a selloff on Wall Street triggered by surging bond yields.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials recovered 75 points, or 0.2%, to 35,334.

Futures for the S&P 500 moved upward 13.5 points, or 0.3%, to 4,584.75.

Futures for the NASDAQ prospered 76.25 points, or 0.5%, to 15,282.25.

Shares of Sony tumbled in pre-market trading, falling 4.7% the day after Microsoft said it is buying video game publisher Activision Blizzard for nearly $69 billion. Sony’s PlayStation competes with Microsoft’s Xbox consoles. The drop in Sony’s stock comes after shares slid 7.2% on Tuesday.

In early earnings results, Bank of America beat Wall Street estimates as it released pandemic-related loan loss reserves. Shares rebounded 3%, a day after sliding 3.4%.

Morgan Stanley saw it stock rise 1.5% after the bank’s fourth-quarter profit topped estimates. It also experienced a 13% jump in equities trading revenue.

Procter & Gamble shares rose slightly after the consumer giant reported fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street’s expectations. The company raised its outlook for sales growth.

Home builders also were broadly lower in early trading following after KeyBanc downgraded the group on concerns over looming interest rate hikes that will drive up borrowing costs.

Of the 33 S&P 500 companies that have reported quarterly results, nearly 70% have topped Wall Street’s expectations

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 tumbled 2.8% Wednesday while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong eked up 0.1%.

Oil prices gained 65 cents to $86.08 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices hiked $7.10 to $1,819.50 U.S. an ounce.