Stocks Cling to Narrow Gains

Couche-Tard in Focus

Stocks in Canada’s largest centre maintained gains from morning trade on Tuesday, with improvements among consumer stocks led by a jump in Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc after its earnings topped expectations and as energy names also moved higher.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index maintained gains of 19.47 points to greet noon at 16,072.59

The Canadian dollar slumped 0.26 cents to 78.12 cents U.S.

Couche-Tard was the biggest positive influence, up 2.9% to $66.09 after reporting both earnings and revenue above consensus analyst expectations.

The consumer staples consumer discretionary groups added strength, with discount store chain Dollarama Inc up 2% at $166.59 after Eight Capital raised its price target on the stock to $185 from $150.

Bank of Nova Scotia fell 2.3% to $81.54 after reporting earnings that slightly missed expectations and saying it had agreed to buy Spanish lender Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA's stake in BBVA Chile BHI.SN for $2.2 billion. That fall was the most influential downward weight on the index, and helped push the heavyweight financials group into the red.

The energy group climbed even as oil prices pulled back, with TransCanada Corp up 1.2% to $64.27 after the pipeline operator said it expects comparable earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to grow at an average annual rate of about 10% through 2020 and for its annual dividend to grow at the top end of its previously estimated range of 8-10%.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that its industrial product price index rose 1.0% in October, mainly due to higher prices for motorized and recreational vehicles.

The agency’s raw materials price index zoomed increased 3.8%, primarily due to higher prices for crude energy products.

Producer prices data for October was expected to show an increase of 0.5% compared with a fall of 0.3% in September.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange lost 1.04 points to 794.35

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher Tuesday morning, with consumer discretionary stocks ahead 0.9%, gold shining 0.7% brighter, and consumer staples soaring 0.6%.

The five laggards were weighed most by health-care, fading 0.4%, real-estate, down 0.3%, and financials, sliding 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both hit record highs by noon hour ET on Tuesday

The Dow sprinted 125.41 points to begin Tuesday at 23,706.19

The S&P 500 tacked on 13.83 points to 2,615.25,

The NASDAQ Composite added 18.16 points to 6,886.85, near its all-time high.

Amazon shares rose on Tuesday on the back of strong online sales for Cyber Monday, leading the broader U.S. stock market higher.

The e-commerce giant saw its shares climb 0.4% after Cyber Monday sales were projected to hit $6.59 billion by Adobe Insights, which would make for the largest ever online sum for a U.S. shopping day.

Amazon's stock has been on fire for the past week, rising more than 5%, as the holiday shopping season kicks off. Consumers spent a record $5.03 billion online during Black Friday, according to Adobe.

The company also got a boost from a price-target increase at Goldman Sachs. Analysts at the investment bank raised their price target to $1,450 from $1,300, noting Amazon's "pace of innovation" and "increasing price flexibility." Amazon shares traded at about $1,200 on Tuesday.

In corporate news, Arby's Restaurant Group agreed to buy Buffalo Wild Wings for $157 per share, or $2.4 billion excluding debt. Meanwhile, Emerson Electric withdrew its $225 per share bid to buy Rockwell Automation.

On the data front, the U.S. National Home Price NSA Index rose 6.2% in September, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller. Meanwhile, consumer confidence rose to a 17-year high in November.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained ground, lowering yields to 2.31% from Monday’s 2.34%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped 25 cents a barrel to $57.86 U.S.

Gold prices forged ahead 90 cents to $1,295.30 U.S. an ounce.