Futures Little Changed

Valeant, BMO in Focus

Canada's main stock index was flat on Wednesday even as oil prices edged lower on concerns over softening demand.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index sagged 43.51 points to close Tuesday at 15,671.15

The Canadian dollar faded 0.05 cents to 78.25 cents U.S. Wednesday morning.

March futures dipped 0.01% Wednesday.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals reported a profit in the fourth quarter compared to a year-earlier loss, as it booked a one-time benefit because of new U.S. tax laws.

Laurentian Bank of Canada said it was continuing to review problematic mortgages sold to an unnamed third party last year and may need to repurchase more of the loans.

Eight Capital raised the target price on Bank of Montreal to $109.00 from $106.00

RBC raised the target price on Bank of Nova Scotia to $95.00 from $92.00

CIBC cut the target price on Power Corporation of Canada to $33.00 from $34.00

The Trudeau government tackled long-term growth challenges on Tuesday in a budget aimed at boosting women in the workforce and diversifying trade, while keeping its fiscal powder dry in case of an economic shock like the demise of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

On the data front, Statistics Canada said its industrial product price index rose 0.3% in January, mainly due to higher prices for energy and petroleum products.

The agency also said its raw material price index increased 3.3% during the same month, primarily as a result of higher prices for crude energy products, during the same month.


The TSX Venture Exchange plummeted 11.67 points, or 1.4%, Tuesday to 815.20


U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher ahead of Wednesday's open, as investors tried to shrug off concerns following a testimony by the chair of the Federal Reserve.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gathered 19 points, or 0.1%, to 25,448

S&P 500 futures nicked 1.75 points, or 0.1%, to 2,749.25, while futures on the NASDAQ Composite gained 17.5 points, or 0.3%, to 6,933.25

Lowe's Companies Inc. are among a spate of firms reporting earnings today.

On the data front, a second estimate of fourth-quarter U.S. gross domestic product data showed growth of 2.5%, in line with expectations.

At 9:45 a.m. ET, Chicago purchasing managers' index (PMI) data is due, followed by pending home sales data at 10 a.m. ET.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 tanked 1.4%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index also declined 1.4%. Stocks in Europe were also in the red by noon local time.

Oil prices fell six cents to $62.95 U.S. per barrel.

Gold prices gained 90 cents to $1,319.50 U.S. an ounce.