Stocks to Open Unchanged

Petrus in Focus

Futures for stocks in Canada’s biggest market were flat on Thursday after the benchmark index broke a five-session stretch of gains the previous day, and as investors took in trade balance figures.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index handed back 7.51 points to finish Wednesday at 15,721.

December futures were flat Thursday morning.

The Canadian dollar was pretty much unchanged at 80.14 cents U.S. Thursday morning.

Progress Energy, the Canadian unit of Malaysian state energy firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad, said it was looking to sell its Deep Basin oil and gas asset in Alberta.

Sears Canada on Wednesday won court approval to extend credit protection by a month to Nov. 7, but its creditors set a deadline this week to liquidate the retailers' assets, leaving the company with mere days to decide its fate.

RBC raised the target price on Petrus Resources to $3.50 from $3.25

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that our merchandise trade deficit totaled $3.4 billion in August, widening from a $3.0-billion deficit in July. Exports decreased 1.0% while imports were unchanged.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.62 points Wednesday to 783.93

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a relatively flat open Thursday, as investors look to key data releases and speeches by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials gained 10 points to 22,617.

S&P 500 futures picked up 1.5 points, or 0.1%, to 2,537.75, while futures on the NASDAQ Composite index gained 13 points, or 0.2%, to 6,017.

In earnings, Constellation Brands, Costco and Yum China are the latest corporations set to release new financial figures Thursday.

Looking ahead to Thursday's session, news out of the U.S. central bank is set to dominate discussion, as a number of leading Fed members are set to deliver remarks.

Fed Governor Jerome Powell will be in New York, where he is likely to weigh-in on treasury markets at the "TMPG Best Practices: A Look Back and a Look Ahead" event.

Looking to data, international trade and jobless claims are both due out early morning, followed by factory orders at 10 a.m. ET.

Overseas, European stocks were trading in a mixed range approaching noon on the continent Monday, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 inched ahead but 1.9 points, and markets in Hong Kong were closed for holiday.

Oil prices docked two cents to $49.96 U.S. per barrel.

Gold prices hiked $2.50 to $1,279.30 U.S. an ounce.