Stocks Flat at Outset

Staples Settle Ahead of Long Weekend

Canada's main stock index opened lower on Friday weighed by losses in consumer staples stocks on fresh inflation and retail news

The S&P/TSX Composite Index shed 5.69 points to begin Friday at 16,137.86

The Canadian dollar fell 0.5 cents to 77.47 cents U.S.

Markets in Canada will be closed on Monday for Victoria Day.

National Bank of Canada cut the price target on Enbridge Income Fund Holdings to $29.00 from $33.00. Enbridge Income shares declined 44 cents, or 1.5%, to $29.03.

Among health-care concerns, Canopy Growth jumped $1.69, or 5.1%, to $34.83.

In the tech sector, BlackBerry clicked 12 cents higher to $14.93.

In utilities, Hydro One picked up nine cents to $19.20

Financials pointed downward, as RBC dropped 59 cents to $100.46.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported the consumer price index rose 2.2% on a year-over-year basis in April, following a 2.3% increase in March. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the Consumer Price Index was up 0.1% in April, matching the increase in March.

The agency also reported retail sales increased for the third consecutive month in March, rising 0.6% to $50.2 billion. Higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers more than offset lower sales at food and beverage stores and gasoline stations.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange recovered 3.43 points to 784.78

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher, with health-care soaring 2.7%, information technology better by 0.8%, and utilities up 0.5%.

The three laggards were weighed most by consumer staples and financials, each down 0.3%, and energy, dipping 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 traded lower on Friday as tensions between the U.S. and China weighed on investor sentiment while both countries continued negotiations on trade.

The Dow Jones Industrials faded 23.6 points to 24,690.38, as Boeing and Caterpillar shares rose about 2%.

The S&P 500 subtracted 8.71 points to 2,711.42, with consumer stocks lagging.

The NASDAQ gave back 32 points to 7,350.47

The major indexes were on track to post slight weekly losses. Entering Friday's session, the Dow was down 0.5%, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ had declined 0.3% each

In corporate news, Nordstrom shares dropped after the Seattle-based retailer reported same-store sales that missed analyst expectations.

The miss was enough to overshadow better-than-expected revenue and earnings for the first quarter.

On Thursday, the two largest economies in the world began the second round of trade talks. But President Donald Trump told reporters he doubted the negotiations would be successful.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have increased in recent months as both countries have hit each other with tariffs targeting some of their exports.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury were sharply higher, lowering yields to 3.08% from Friday’s 3.12%. Treasury prices and yields tend to move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell 12 cents a barrel to $71.37 U.S.

Gold prices settled 40 cents at $1,289.00 U.S. an ounce.