Stocks Gain, Dollar Loses

Bank Rate Stays Put

Canada’s main stock index turned higher on Wednesday as banks and industrial stocks rose, offsetting a slump in department store operator Hudson’s Bay Co after it reported a deeper-than-expected loss.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index regained 36 points to greet noon at 15,951.68

The Canadian dollar slid 0.58 cents to 78.19 cents U.S.

Westjet Airlines rose 1% to $26.65 after announcing a joint venture with Delta Air Lines to boost trans-border flights. The carrier said it expects to nearly double its fleet by 2020 to meet growing passenger traffic.

The Bay was down 15% to $10.12, on track for its sharpest one-day fall ever, after the dismal quarterly performance. The owner of the Saks Fifth Avenue luxury retailer said the loss was due to lower traffic, steep discounts and the effects of the hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Dollarama Inc fell 7% to $142.21 despite the discount store chain’s third quarter profit topping estimates, as comparable store sales missed estimates.

Rogers Communications Inc rose 1.1% to $66.12 after reports it is considering the sale of the Blue Jays baseball team and its stake in Cogeco Inc.

The Bank of Canada made its last rate announcement for 2017, and, as expected, maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1%. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1.25% and the deposit rate is 0.75%

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 3.15 points to 780.79

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were up midday, with industrials and utilities each soaring 0.9%, while consumer staples advanced 0.8%.

The four laggards were weighed most by energy, down 1.7%, health-care, backtracking 1.5%, and materials, off 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. equities remained in the red by noon hour ET on Wednesday, even as tech stocks continued to bounce back. Wall Street was also on the lookout for new details regarding a tax-code overhaul.

The Dow Jones industrials pointed 26.79 points lower to 24,153.85, with Microsoft leading advancers on the 30-stock index.

The S&P 500 fell 3.21 points to 2,626.36, with information technology rising about 0.5%.

The NASDAQ folded 6.64 points to 6,755.58, though shares of Facebook rose more than 1.5%.

Tech stocks were on track Wednesday to post consecutive gains after being pressured over the past week.

Financials, one of the sectors that would theoretically benefit greatly from lower corporate taxes, have been on a tear recently. The sector is up nearly 2% over the past week. Tech, meanwhile, is down more than 1% in the same time period.

In corporate news, Evercore ISI initiated Facebook with an outperform rating. Analyst Anthony DiClemente said Facebook will lead the "FANG" stocks higher in 2018.

Meanwhile, drone maker AeroVironment shares hit an all-time high after the company posted strong quarterly sales.

Companies reporting earnings Wednesday include H&R Block Inc., Brown Forman Inc., and NCI Building Systems Inc.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained, lowering yields to 2.32% from Tuesday’s 2.35%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices deleted $1.43 a barrel to $56.19 U.S.

Gold prices gained $1.50 to $1,266.40 U.S. an ounce.