Negative Friday in Store for Markets

MEC, Canopy in Focus

Stock futures pointed to a lower opening for Canada's main stock index on Friday, weighed down by trade war fears and declining oil prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 48.73 points to close Thursday at 15,383.95

The Canadian dollar doffed 0.28 cents to 77.65 cents U.S. Friday

March futures were off 0.3% Friday.

Mountain Equipment Co-op said on Thursday it suspended new orders from five outdoor activity brands owned by Vista Outdoor Inc, which also makes guns and ammunition, as the U.S. gun control debate spilled across the border.

Canadian marijuana producer Canopy Growth will list on the NASDAQ "in due course," Chief Executive Officer Bruce Linton said on Thursday.

Bank of Montreal on Thursday unveiled plans to open a new office in Toronto where the now bankrupt Sears Canada's headquarters used to be.

TD Securities cut the target price on Crescent Point Energy to $14.50 from $15.50

Eight Capital raised the target price on Toronto-Dominion Bank to $86.00 from $76.00

On the data front, Statistics Canada reported that real gross domestic product grew 0.4% in the fourth quarter, the same rate as the previous quarter. Final domestic demand increased 1.0%. Real GDP edged up 0.1% in December as 13 of 20 industrial sectors increased. This followed a 0.4% gain in November.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said markets are adapting to making their own forecasts on where interest rates are going, though he acknowledged the decision to drop forward guidance four years ago has met some criticism.


The TSX Venture Exchange moved up 0.2 points Thursday to 829.32


U.S. stock index futures fell sharply on Friday as Wall Street braced for further losses.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average staggered 253 points, or 1%, to 24,367

S&P 500 futures dipped 19 points, or 0.7%, to 2,659.25, while futures on the NASDAQ Composite skidded 76.25 points, or 1.1%, to 6,884.50

Foot Locker and J C Penney are among the companies reporting earnings Friday.

On Thursday, the Dow tumbled 420 points, as investors reacted to news coming out of the central banking and political spheres.

Newly-appointed Fed Chair Jerome Powell spoke again Thursday to the Senate Committee on Banking about monetary policy and the state of the U.S. economy.

He said there were currently no "decisive" signs of wage inflation, just days after he stated that the central bank could raise interest rates three or more times during 2018 to prevent the U.S. economy from overheating.

Also Thursday, President Donald Trump said the U.S. would be imposing new tariffs on aluminum and steel. He is expected to set tariffs, as early as next week, of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum, putting pressure on companies both domestic and international. The trade move was roundly condemned.

In data, consumer sentiment is due out at 10 a.m. ET. No speeches by the U.S. Federal Reserve are due to take place Friday.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 2.5%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index fell l1.5%.

Oil prices decreased 31 cents to $60.68 U.S. per barrel.

Gold prices marched ahead $17.20 to $1,322.40 U.S. an ounce.