Negative Open for TSX

Encana, Husky in Spotlight

Canada’s main stock index fell on Wednesday as energy and financial shares declined, while gold mining stocks were boosted by higher gold prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index doffed 13.85 points lead off Wednesday’s session at 16,343.70

The Canadian dollar leaped 0.43 cents at 80.97 cents U.S.

Canadian National Railway on Tuesday reported a lower-than-expected adjusted profit for the fourth quarter due to the heavy expenses it incurred to grow its business, sending shares of Canada’s biggest freight railroad lower.

CN shares dipped 43 cents to $99.70.

Bombardier on Tuesday attempted to draw its Brazilian rival Embraer SA into a hotly contested trade dispute, two days before a U.S. agency will rule on whether duties should be slapped on American sales of the Canadian plane-and-train-maker’s largest jet.

Bombardier shares subtracted a penny to $3.14.

Officials opened a key round of negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement on Tuesday amid optimistic signs, as U.S. President Donald Trump said the talks were going “pretty well” and Canada’s chief negotiator said he had high hopes for progress.

Barclays raised the price target on Alimentation Couche-Tard to $78.00 from $76.00. Couche-Tard shares hiked 58 cents to $67.00.

Morgan Stanley raised the rating on Encana Corp. to overweight from equal weight. Encana shares lost 11 cents to $16.73.

Morgan Stanley cut the rating on Husky Energy to underweight from equal weight rating. Husky shares squeezed up one cent to $17.99.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 4.02 points to 903.34

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower to start out, with health-care surrendering 2%, telecoms down 0.6% and energy off 0.4%.

The five gainers were led by gold, shining 2% brighter, materials, 1.4% stronger, and information technology, inching up 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks traded higher on Wednesday on the back of stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings results.

The Dow Jones Industrials galloped 149.5 points to open for business Wednesday at 26,360.31, hitting a record high.

The S&P 500 improved 10.69 points to 2,849.82, also an all-time peak.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ piled 16.9 points on top of Tuesday’s all-time record, to 7,477.19.

Abbott Laboratories, United Technologies, Baker Hughes and Comcast all reported earnings and revenue that beat analyst expectations.

Of the S&P 500 companies that had reported as of Tuesday morning, 77% have beaten earnings estimates, while 80% have topped revenue expectations

Equities have kicked off 2018 with strong gains. The major indexes are up at least 6% year to date as strong earnings and a lower corporate tax rate help maintain optimism in the economy.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note waned, raising yields to 2.66% from Tuesday’s 2.62%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 11 cents a barrel to $64.58 U.S.

Gold prices advanced $16.30 to $1,353 U.S. an ounce.