TSX restores after heavy losses Wednesday

WalMart in focus

Canada's main stock index rose at the open on Thursday, after China said it would hold talks with Washington later this month, offering a glimmer of hope to investors.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index rocketed 124.75 points to kick off Thursday at 16,273.25

The Canadian dollar inched up 0.08 cents to 76.18 cents U.S.

French government sources say the Macron government will support the appointment of Air Canada executive Ben Smith as the chief executive of Air France-KLM.

Meantime, Air Canada flew 54 cents, or 2.3%, to $23.94.

Canaccord Genuity raised the price target on Dream Unlimited to $13 from $12.75. Dream shares climbed 24 cents, or 3%, to $8.35.

Canaccord Genuity raised the price target on Suncor Energy to $67.00 from $64.00. Suncor shares gained 79 cents, or 1.5%, to $52.35.

Canaccord Genuity raised the price target on Husky Energy to $25.00 from $23.00. Husky shares added 35 cents, or 1.6%, to $21.90.

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada reported that manufacturing sales rose 1.1% to $58.1 billion in June, following a 1.5% increase in May. The increase in June was mainly due to sharply higher sales in the petroleum and coal product industry, while sales were down in the chemicals and food manufacturing industries.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regained 3.63 points to 671.51

All 12 subgroups moved higher, as consumer staples strengthened 1.4%, materials surged 1.3%, and gold brightened 1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks traded sharply higher on Thursday on renewed hope that a resolution to a trade dispute with China could be on the horizon. Investors also cheered strong quarterly results from WalMart.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sprouted wings and flew 315.17 points, or 1.3%, to 25,477.58, led by gains in WalMart and Cisco Systems.

The S&P 500 heightened 18.89 points to 2,837.26, as consumer staples and telecom outperformed.

The NASDAQ leaped 53.65 points to 7,827.77

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow confirmed to the media earlier reports saying China and the U.S. will hold a fresh round of trade talks later in August, giving investors hope that the two world's largest economies can solve an ongoing trade spat.

The U.S. and China have been engaged in a trade spat recently as the U.S. slaps tariffs on Chinese imported goods. China, meanwhile, has retaliated with tariffs of its own on U.S. goods. Investors worry that an escalation in trade fears could lead to a global economic slowdown and lower corporate profits

Shares of Boeing shot higher 2.8% and Caterpillar, another bellwether for global trade, rose 1.4%. Both companies get a large share of their revenue from outside the U.S., so their stocks are highly sensitive to trade-related news.

Stocks also got a boost from strong WalMart quarterly earnings. The results sent Walmart shares surging 10% after the company reported its biggest jump in U.S. sales in a decade. The surge led WalMart to contribute about 60 points to the price-weighted Dow. The results also lifted shares of Target, which gained 1.3%.

Cisco Systems also reported better-than-expected earnings, sending its stock up 3.2%. The company's results got a boost from an income surge from segments like cyber security and applications.

Economically speaking, U.S. weekly jobless claims totaled 212,000 last week, slightly below than estimates of 215,000. Meanwhile, housing starts totaled 1.168 million in July, well below the expected 1.26 million.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, raising yields to 2.87% from Wednesday’s 2.86%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices inched up two cents at $65.03 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices added $1.02 to $1,186.20 U.S. an ounce.