Indexes Flat at Friday Opening

Leon’s, Enbridge in Focus

Stocks in Canada’s largest market were relatively unchanged, as losses among gold miners and other materials stocks were offset by gains for energy and bank stocks with higher oil prices and after surprisingly robust domestic jobs data.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index faded 8.98 to begin Friday at 16,058.50

The Canadian dollar surged 0.89 cents to 78.44 cents U.S.

Enbridge shares jumped 6.3% on Thursday after North America's largest energy infrastructure company announced plans to sell $3 billion of non-core assets to focus on its "crown jewels."

Enbridge shares retreated 10 cents to $48.55.

Toronto-Dominion Bank and smaller rival CIBC rounded off a week of earnings announcements by Canadian banks on Thursday, reporting record profits, but they face headwinds in 2018 due to stricter mortgage rules and concerns about the potential for house price declines.

Canaccord Genuity upped the target on CIBC to $126, while Credit Suisse raised the bank’s rating to outperform

Credit Suisse raises target price on T-D to $77.00 from $75.00

CIBC shares galloped $2.15, or 1.8%, to $120.29, while T-D shares gained 33 cents to $73.55.

CIBC started coverage on Leon's Furniture with neutral rating and $21 price target.

Leon’s shares inched up two cents to $18.25

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported that Gross Domestic Product rose 0.2% in September after edging down 0.1% in August.

Goods-producing, which rose 0.4%, and services-producing (+0.1%) industries gained as 12 of 20 industrial sectors grew, led by the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector.

Growth in GDP slowed to 0.4% in the third quarter, following a 1.0% increase in the second quarter. Increased household final consumption expenditure, up 1.0%, was the main contributor, while exports, which slid 2.7%, moderated growth.

The agency also declared that the economy created 80,000 jobs in November. The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 5.9%, the lowest rate since February 2008.

GDP was expected to show growth of 1.6% on an annualized basis for the third quarter.

Experts were looking for an addition of 10,000 jobs in November, bringing the unemployment rate down to 6.2%.

The seasonally-adjusted IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index registered 54.4 in November, little changed from October’s nine-month low of 54.3.

On Thursday, StatsCan reported that Canada's current account deficit in the third quarter swelled to $19.35 billion, the third largest in history, as the country's international trade gap in goods continued to expand

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange lost 1.35 points to 787.54

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower in the first hour, as gold settled 1.1%, materials were weaker 0.9%, and consumer discretionary stocks fell 0.8%.

Energy led the five gaining subgroups, ahead 1.5%, while telecoms and financials each prospered 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks traded flat on Friday as investors awaited a key tax bill vote in the Senate.

The Dow Jones Industrials inched up 1.73 points to 24,274.08, with Merck leading advancers on the 30-stock index.

The S&P 500 gained 0.10 points to 2,647.68, with industrials as the worst-performing sector and energy outperforming. Energy stocks got a boost from a jump in oil prices.

The NASDAQ Composite fell 13.15 points to 6,860.82, as tech giants Apple and Facebook both fell.

In corporate news, shares of Mylan jumped 3.5% after media outlets reported that Amazon has held preliminary talks with generic drug makers about a potential entry into pharmaceuticals.

Ulta Beauty was the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500, falling 5.8% after the cosmetics retailer issued weaker-than-expected guidance for the current quarter.

The upper chamber is expected to vote on the bill — which would overhaul the U.S. tax code if turned into law — at 11 a.m.

On the data front, the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index fell to 58.2 in November from a 58.7 reading in October.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were unchanged, keeping yields at Thursday’s 2.42%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $1.34 a barrel to $58.74 U.S.

Gold prices let go of $1.20 to $1,275.50 U.S. an ounce.