TSX Starts off on Right Foot on Budget Day

Scotiabank, Bombardier in Focus

Canada's main stock index rose on Tuesday, helped by gains in Bank of Nova Scotia after the lender reported results and an advance in shares of industrial companies.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index inched up 18.07 points to open Tuesday at 15,732.73

The Canadian dollar fell 0.28 cents to 78.55 cents U.S.

Scotiabank reported first-quarter earnings that were ahead of market expectations, helped by a strong performance at its domestic and international businesses. The bank’s shares traded up $1.28, or 1.2%, to $80.07.

Bank of Montreal reported first-quarter earnings which were ahead of market expectations, reflecting strong sales growth in Canada and the United States. BMO shares plummeted $1.49, or 1.5%, to $98.09.

JetBlue Airways met with Bombardier and also had plans to meet with Brazil's Embraer SA this month, according to an internal email reviewed by Reuters, in a signal that talks are picking up for the U.S. airline's closely watched sales campaign.

Bombardier shares nicked up four cents to $$4.11.

Eight Capital cut the target price on Lundin Gold to $6.90 from $7.30. Lundin Gold shares gained three cents to $5.03.

Barclays cut the target price on George Weston to $108 from $113. Weston shares ballooned $2.11, or 2%, to $106.09.

TD Securities cut the target price on Prairiesky Royalty to $33 from $34. Prairiesky shares fell 23 cents to $29.26.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announces his budget this afternoon after the markets close, and the document is expected to be a restrained one, with just enough spending to assuage middle class voters under pressure from rising rates - while expressing caution amid uncertainty over the North American Free Trade Agreement.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange slipped 3.46 points to 823.41

The 12 TSX subgroups were evenly divided, as consumer staples gathered 0.8%, industrials gained 0.5%, and energy pumped 0.3% higher

The half-dozen laggards were weighed most by health-care, dwindling 1.4%, gold, sinking 1%, and real-estate, weaker by 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks traded slightly higher Tuesday ahead of testimony from new Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 58.22 points, to begin Tuesday’s session at 25,767.49, with Boeing and Chevron contributing the most to the index's modest climb.

The S&P 500 added 5.55 points to 2,785.15, amid strong performance in energy and financial stocks.

The Dow and S&P 500 have more than halved their correction losses. From the Dow and S&P's 52-week intraday highs, the indexes are down 3.4% and 3.3% respectively through Monday's close.

The NASDAQ Composite climbed 11.33 points to 7,432.79, thanks to gains in Apple and Microsoft.

In corporate news, Macy's stock surged more than 12% after the company reported better-than-expected earnings results, on track for its best daily performance since August 11, 2016. In an interview, CEO Jeff Gennette said same-store sales were up 3% in January.

In prepared remarks, Powell indicated that the central bank would continue to gradually raise rates despite recent market volatility.

Looking to Tuesday's session, earnings, data and news from the U.S central bank are due to shake up sentiment.

U.S. home prices increased 6.3% compared to December 2016, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home prices index. The rally in prices comes as demand skyrockets against record low supply.

U.S. consumer confidence topped 130.8 in February, a 17-year high. Feelings about short-term economic prospects accelerated in January after declining sharply the month before. The index takes into account Americans' views of current economic conditions and their expectations for the next six months.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note lost ground, lowering yields to 2.87% from Monday’s 2.86%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices shook off 26 cents a barrel to $63.65 U.S.

Gold prices capsized $6.10 to $1,326.70 U.S. an ounce.