Futures Crawl on Oil Prices

Goeasy, Stella-Jones in Focus


Futures on Canada's main stock index edged higher on Thursday as oil prices rose

The S&P/TSX Composite Index let go of 73.34 points to close Wednesday at 16,284.21

The Canadian dollar dropped 20 cents to 81.16 cents U.S. Thursday morning.

March futures nicked higher 0.07% Thursday.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said even he did not know what potential there may be for further interest rate hikes this year, reiterating that policymakers remained both data dependent and alert to developments with North American Free Trade Agreement.

Desjardins raised the price target Goeasy Ltd. to $43.00 from $42.00

Desjardins raised the price target Stella-Jones to $54.00 from $49.00

Canaccord Genuity raised the price target on WSP Global to $61.00 from $58.00

It’s a busy day on the macroeconomic sheet, with Statistics Canada bringing out retail trade figures and average weekly earnings, both for November.

The agency said retail sales increased for the third consecutive month in November, rising 0.2% to $50.1 billion. Sales were up in six of 11 sub-sectors, representing 37% of total retail trade.

Furthermore, the nation’s number crunchers said average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $988 in November, increasing 0.6% from October. Compared with 12 months earlier, earnings were up 2.8%, with most of the gains having occurred since July 2017.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange backpedaled 6.33 points Wednesday to 893.59

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures rose ahead of Wall Street's open Thursday as Caterpillar reported better-than-expected quarterly results.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials gained 95 points, or 0.4%, to 26,365,

S&P 500 futures gained eight points, or 0.3%, to 2,849, while futures on the NASDAQ Composite advanced 42.25 points, or 0.6%, at 6,973.50

Caterpillar shares rose 3.8% in the pre-market after the company released its fourth-quarter results. 3M also reported better-than-expected results, helping lift investor sentiment. Shares of 3M gained 2.5%.

In data news, jobless claims totaled 233,000, below the expected 240,000. New home sales are then set to come out at 10 a.m. ET and the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey at 11 a.m. ET.

Investors also looked at the European Central Bank after it left interest rates unchanged, as was widely expected.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1.1%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index lost 0.9%.

Oil prices gained 78 cents to $66.39 U.S. per barrel.

Gold prices picked up $3.10 to $1,359.40 U.S. an ounce.