Stocks Hold Water Late Morning Wednesday

Poloz Speaks at Noon

Stocks in Canada’s largest centre continued to hold onto gains as morning became afternoon on Wednesday, powered largely by financials.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index moved higher 40.66 points to greet noon at 15,514.78

The Canadian dollar inched higher 0.08 cents to 81.01 cents U.S

Financials led the charge, led in turn by Manulife, up 44 cents, or 1.8%, to $25.21, while Toronto-Dominion progressed 80 cents, or 1.2%, to $70.18.

Tech stocks also made headway, as BlackBerry bloomed 20 cents, or 1.8%, to $11.49, while Constellation Software climbed $1.44 to $682.69.
Among telecoms, Rogers Communications took on 45 cents to $63.95.

Gold gave back some of its gains by noon, however, as Barrick Gold backtracked 16 cents to $20.12, while Goldcorp lost 15 cents to $15.77.
Materials lost steam, as Tahoe Resources slid 76 cents, or 10.8%, to $6.29, while Hudbay Minerals forfeited a penny to $8.72.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will also hold a press conference at 12:00 p.m. ET, his first since two back-to-back rate hikes, and investors will be looking for clues as to how aggressively the central bank may tighten from here.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange retreated 0.4 points to 775.53

The 12 TSX subgroups were equally divided between gainers and losers, as financials vaulted 0.7%, with information technology and telecoms each surging 0.6%.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed most by gold, dulling in price 1.4%, materials, down 0.5%, and consumer staples, weakening 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks traded mixed Wednesday as investors eyed higher interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrials dropped 3.41 points by midday to 22,280.91. Goldman Sachs had the greatest positive impact on the Dow Jones industrial average, while Nike, 3M and Procter & Gamble had the greatest negative impact.

Nike shares traded down 3.4% after the company reported its slowest quarterly sales growth in nearly seven years and forecasting a further drop in revenue from North America. The athletic wear company did report a 9% increase in Greater China sales.

The S&P 500 moved ahead 1.71 points to 2,498.58.

Financial stocks rose more than 1% to lead S&P 500 advancers, followed by gains of more than 0.5% in information technology stocks.

Consumer staples, utilities and real estate investment trusts, which would be negatively affected by high interest rates, led S&P 500 declines.

The NASDAQ kept 32.48 points worth of gains to 6,412.64

U.S. stock index futures climbed after durable goods orders showed a 1.7% increase in August. Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft rose 0.9%, versus the 0.3% increase expected by economists.

Pending home sales fell 2.6% in August.

A GOP framework on tax reform released Wednesday would reduce the corporate tax rate to 20%, as many expected. It also proposes to create just three individual tax rates and double the standard deduction.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to discuss his administration's tax plan later in the day. For months, many market strategists have laid out how the White House's proposed tax reform could significantly increase corporate profits, particularly for financials and small-cap stocks.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped sharply, raising yields to 2.3% from Tuesday’s 2.24%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained 25 cents a barrel to $52.13 U.S.

Gold prices lost $13.20 to $1,288.50 U.S. an ounce