Futures Up Slightly on GDP Figures

RBC in Focus

Futures for Canada's main stock index edged higher on Friday as investors digested gross domestic product data for July.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index retained 8.59 points to conclude Thursday’s session at 15,618.25

December futures picked up 0.1% Friday morning.

The Canadian dollar slumped 0.05 cents to 80.38 cents U.S. Friday morning.

Dave McKay, the CEO of Royal Bank of Canada, on Thursday pushed back on a suggestion by JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon that bitcoin is a fraud, though he said the cryptocurrency needs monitoring.

RBC raised the target price on Blackberry to $10.50 from $9.50

Canaccord Genuity raised the target price on Sandstorm Gold to $10 from $9.50

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada reported the economy was essentially unchanged in July as 11 of 20 industrial sectors grew.

The agency’s industrial product price index rose 0.3% in August, mainly due to higher prices for energy and petroleum products.

The Raw Materials Price Index increased 1.0%, primarily due to higher prices for crude energy products.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange retreated 0.32 points Thursday to 775.61

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures were set to open little changed Friday, the last trading day of a solid third quarter of gains for stocks.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials dropped 10 points to 22,310.

S&P 500 futures dipped 1.25 points, or 0.1%, to 2,506.50, while futures on the NASDAQ Composite index rose 8.5 points, or 0.1%, to 5,947

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average were on pace for their eighth-straight quarter of gains, up nearly 3.6% and about 4.8%, respectively.

Markets are also focusing on the tax reform plans and what will happen to them when they enter Congress. The reform plans, which promise lower tax rates for corporations and individuals, could be watered down or fail to pass at all; the administration and the Republicans have struggled to pass major legislation this year.

In economic news, personal income in August rose 0.2%, as expected. The closely watched personal consumption expenditures index, excluding food and energy, rose 1.3% in the 12 months through August, slower than the last few months, according to the Department of Commerce.

The Chicago purchasing managers' index for September and the final reading of consumer sentiment will also be published.

Overseas, European stocks were flat nearing noon on the continent Friday, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 6.83 points, and CSI 300 in Shanghai gained 0.4%.

Oil prices five cents to $51.61 U.S. per barrel.

Gold prices gained 10 cents to $1,288.80 U.S. an ounce.