Equities flat as oil prices hit gulch

Nevsun-Lundin deal in focus

Canada's main stock index fought their way higher on Tuesday as oil prices hovered near their lowest in three months and weighed on energy companies. Health-care stocks cooled off, too.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index recovered 9.04 points to greet noon at 16,503.77

The Canadian dollar slumped 0.31 cents at 75.82 cents U.S.

The energy sector dropped 0.5%, on declines in Enbridge and Canadian Natural Resources, both down about 1%.

A bright spot was Nevsun Resources, which jumped 59 cents, or 14%, to $4.80, after the base metals miner said rival Lundin Mining's most recent bid undervalues the company.

Another of the largest percentage gainers was Canfor Corp., which rose 94 cents, or 2.9%, to $33.23.

First Majestic Silver Corp fell 63 cents, or 6.5%, to $9.12, the most on the TSX, after providing its silver production numbers for the second quarter on Monday.

The second biggest decliner was Aphria Inc., down 24 cents, or 2.2%, to $10.66, after Canadian marijuana company announced plans to buy Latin American and Caribbean assets from U.S.-based Scythian.

On the economic scene, Statistics Canada reported that manufacturing sales in this country increased 1.4% to $57.1 billion in May, led by the chemical, machinery, and wood product industries.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 5.66 points to 712.48.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher midday, as consumer discretionary stocks acquired 0.6%, gold was up 0.5%, and real-estate progressed 0.4%.

The four laggards were weighed most by health-care, down 0.9%, while consumer staples and information technology issues each lost 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks chopped around the flatline on Tuesday as a drop in Netflix — one of the momentum leaders in the market — offset solid strong earnings from Johnson & Johnson.

The Dow Jones Industrials recovered 33.61 points to break for lunch at 25,097.97, with UnitedHealth lagging and Johnson & Johnson outperforming.

The S&P 500 recovered 7.59 points to 2,806.02

The NASDAQ gained 24.01 points to 7,829.73

Netflix plunged more than 9% after reporting weaker-than-expected subscriber growth. The streaming giant said Monday afternoon that domestic subscribers grew by 670,000 in the previous quarter, while international additions rose by 4.5 million. Analysts expected domestic gains of 1.23 million and 5.11 million new international subscribers.

Other major tech stocks followed Netflix lower, but recovered shortly after the open. Google-parent Alphabet traded down 0.1% after dropping as much as 1.2% Apple pulled back as much as 0.9% before trading 0.3% lower. Facebook eked out a slight gain after falling more than 1% earlier in the session.

Technology is the biggest sector in the S&P 500 by weight, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. As of June 29, the sector represents 26% of the overall S&P 500. Health care is the second-largest sector, with a weight of 14.1%.

Earnings season continued before the bell Tuesday with Johnson & Johnson reporting earnings and revenue that topped expectations. The company's shares jumped more than 4% on the news.

Goldman Sachs also posted better-than-expected earnings, but its stock fell 1.7%. The bank also announced that David Solomon will take over the CEO role from Lloyd Blankfein on Oct. 1.

Meanwhile, Charles Schwab jumped 4.6% on stronger-than-forecast results.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury were marginally higher, lowering yields to 2.85% from Monday’s 2.86%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell 56 cents to $67.50 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gave back $10.60 at $1,229.10 U.S. an ounce.