Stocks Start off Lower

Constellation in Focus

Canada's main stock index opened slightly lower on Friday, weighed down by the energy index as oil prices fell more than 2% towards $77 a barrel.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 35.41 points to open Friday at 16,078.21

The Canadian dollar ducked lower 62 cents at 77.03 cents U.S.

Credit Suisse raised the rating on Hydro One to outperform from neutral. Hydro One shares gained five cents to $19.54.

Tech shares led the parade, as Constellation Software jumped $12.04, or 1.2%, to $1,026.59

Industrials were also on the rise, as Canadian Pacific Railway galloped $2.91, or 1.2%, to $241.34.

Among energy stocks, though, Imperial Oil retreated 51 cents, or 1.2%, to $41.08.

Health-care stocks also took some lumps, as Aurora Cannabis dropped 23 cents, or 2.8%, to $8.03.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange stepped back 2.8 points to 777.58

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher in the first hour, as information technology gained 0.9%, industrials were ahead 0.6%, and consumer staples forged gains of 0.5%.

The four laggards were weighed most by energy, down 2.4%, health-care, trailing 0.5%, and materials, off 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks fell Friday as geopolitical fears following President Donald Trump's move to cancel a key summit with North Korea offset solid corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrials fell 17.54 points to 24,794.22, led lower by losses in shares of Chevron, Exxon Mobil, American Express and Goldman Sachs.

The S&P 500 slumped 2.76 points to 2,725, amid continued losses in energy and financials stocks.

Both sectors have been under pressure this week as a decline in oil prices weigh on industry leaders like Exxon Mobil and Chevron, while lower interest rates drag on bank stocks.

The NASDAQ gained 24.05 points to 7,448.48, between gains in Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet.

Trading volume has been below its recent trend this week as traders leave Wall Street ahead of the long weekend. Markets will be closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

A string of solid earnings reports has helped keep equities on track for weekly gains, with Foot Locker adding to the optimism on Friday.

The athletic shoe retailer handily beat Wall Street expectations, posting adjusted earnings per share of $1.45 versus expectations of $1.24 per share. It posted revenue of $2.03 billion, also ahead of estimates.

The company's stock rose 12% following the report.

Several other S&P 500 components also gave investors reason for optimism throughout the week, including home improvement retailer Lowe's.

Though the Mooresville, North Carolina-based company missed expectations for the first quarter on Wednesday, its stock rose more than 10% after it maintained its annual financial targets.

Shares also rallied after famed hedge fund manager Bill Ackman revealed a $1-billion stake in the company; the stock is up more than 12% since Tuesday's close.

High-end jeweler Tiffany & Co., meanwhile, is having one of its best weeks on Wall Street.

The company's stock rose more than 23% after reporting that same-store sales rose 7% in the quarter, overshooting expectations of only 2.6%. It also raised its full-year guidance in light of the solid beat.

The New York-based company suggested its comeback plan is working to retain price-conscious millennial shoppers from drifting to new competitors. Its stock is up 22.3% this week.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury gained, lowering yields to 2.93% from Thursday’s 2.98%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices tumbled $2.23 at $68.48 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices sank two dollars at $1,304.20 U.S. an ounce.