Stocks Clear Breakeven Soon After Open

"Black Monday" at 30


Equities in Canada’s largest centre turned positive shortly after the open on Thursday as energy stocks reversed opening losses, while financial stocks and Teck Resources led declines.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index eked up 8.13 points to open for business on Thursday at 15,790.29

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.11 cents to 80.11 cents U.S.

Teck shares fell 20 cents to $27.41.

Cenovus Energy said on Thursday it will sell its Palliser crude oil and natural gas assets in southeastern Alberta to Torxen Energy and Schlumberger Ltd for $1.3 billion to lower its debt load.

Cenovus shares hiked 20 cents, or 1.6%, to $12.42.

Rogers Communications’ quarterly profit more than doubled, helped by strength in its wireless unit, as it added the highest number of postpaid subscribers in eight years.

Rogers shares tumbled 68 cents, or 1%, to $66.17.

National Bank of Canada upped the target price on Canadian Pacific Railway to $226. CP shares eked up three cents to $220.39.

Desjardins started coverage on GDI Integrated Facility Services with a buy rating. GDI shares were static at $15.43.

Desjardins initiated coverage on Lassonde Industries with a buy rating, and $275 target price. Lassonde shares ducked 87 cents lower to $242.07.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his finance minister on Wednesday amid criticism that Bill Morneau did not place his assets in a blind trust, moving to dampen a growing controversy that threatens to overshadow the government's agenda.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada came out with employment insurance figures for August, and revealed that the number of beneficiaries decreased by 9,600, or 1.8%, to 524,200 in August, continues a downward trend that began last October.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 0.6 points to start the session to 784.09

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were off in the first hour, as telecoms slid 1%, industrials lost 0.5%, and health-care weakened 0.4%.

The five gainers were led by gold, up 1.6%, consumer staples, better by 1%, and materials, improving 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. equities fell on Thursday following a record-setting session in blue-chips closed above 23,000 for the first time.

The Dow Jones Industrials index faded 93.05 points from Wednesday’s all-time record to 23,064.55. Shares of Nike declined 0.4% in early trade after analysts at Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to neutral from buy.

Tech giant Apple saw its stock decline 2.6%, amid reports of lower iPhone 8 orders.

The S&P 500 let go of 12.53 points to 2,548.68, with information technology dropping 1% to lead decliners. Shares of Philip Morris fell nearly 4% and were among the worst performers on the index after posting weaker-than-expected earnings.

The NASDAQ faltered 61.89 points to 6,562.33. Facebook, Google-parent Alphabet, Netflix and Amazon all fell more than 1%.

The move lower on equities took place exactly 30 years after "Black Monday," the worst day in U.S. stock-market history. On that day, the
S&P 500 plunged 20.5% and the Dow dropped 22.6%

Wall Street also continued to digest corporate earnings reports.

EBay reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue along with earnings per share that met expectations. However, the company reported mixed guidance for the fourth quarter, sending the stock down 3.2%.

Insurance giant Travelers posted quarterly earnings per share that easily beat Wall Street expectations. United Continental also reported a better-than-expected profit.

This earnings season is off to a good start, with approximately 80% of S&P 500 components having beaten on the bottom line

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note revived, lowering yields to 2.3% from Wednesday’s 2.34%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices skidded 69 cents a barrel to $51.35 U.S.

Gold prices regained $6.20 an ounce to $1,289.20 U.S.