Stocks Higher in Early Trade

Barrick Gold to buy Randgold Resources in $18.3 billion deal

Canada's main stock index was trading higher on Monday morning, as a surge in crude oil prices to a four-year high lifted energy stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 47.05 points at 16271.18.

Canada’s Barrick Gold (ABX) has agreed to buy Randgold Resources Ltd (RRS.L) in a $18.3 billion share deal to create the world’s largest gold company by value and output in an industry under investor pressure to put capital to good use. The new Barrick company, which will be listed in New York and Toronto, will own five of the world’s 10 lowest cost gold mines and will be valued at $24 billion including debt.

Canadian food retailer Empire Co Ltd. said on Monday it would acquire privately held grocer Farm Boy Inc for an enterprise value of C$800 million ($618 million) to increase its presence in Ontario. Ottawa-based Farm Boy, which specializes in “farm-to-table” wholesale, will be acquired from Berkshire Partners, following which it will be set up as a separate company within Empire’s structure.

On the economic front - Wholesale sales rose 1.5% to $63.9 billion in July, more than offsetting the 0.9% decline in June. Sales were up in four of seven subsectors, representing approximately 66% of total wholesale sales.

The Canadian dollar was trading higher, up 0.07 cents to 77.42 cents.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange inched up 1.92 points to 721.83.

Seven of subgroups were trading in the green Monday morning, with energy better by 2.29%, gold ahead 2.01%, and health-care up 0.7%.

On the downside -- consumer discretionary issues shed 0.74%, base metals down 0.37% and telecom, down 0.32%.

December gold was up $2.20, or 0.2%, at $1,203.50 an ounce. It settled Friday at $1,201.30, its lowest level in a week even as it ended little changed in price for all of last week.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks fell in early trading on Monday, with major technology stocks among the biggest drags as the latest round of tariffs on U.S. and Chinese goods took effect.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 92 points, or 0.4%, to 26,650. The blue-chip average closed at a record on Friday. The S&P 500 lost 12 points to 2,918, a decline of 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 72 points to 7,915, a drop of 0.9%.

Technology stocks were among the biggest decliners, falling 0.9%. The consumer-discretionary sector—which includes such names as Amazon and Netflix—fell 1.1%.

Among the technology stocks weighing on the broader market, Microsoft Corp. fell 1.5% while Google-parent Alphabet Inc. lost 1%. Separately, Amazon.com fell 1.3%.

Sirius XM Holdings Inc. agreed to buy Pandora in a stock deal valued at $3.5 billion. Shares of Pandora jumped 8.8% while Sirius fell 2.7%.

Bucking the trend was the energy sector, which surged 1.6% on the back of higher oil prices. The group was on track for its best session since June.

On the economic data front, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index came in at 0.18 in August, unchanged with the previous month.

Crude-oil prices gained 1.7%, with Brent-crude futures up 2.2%, trading near their highest level in more than three years. The rise came as major energy producers declined to commit to increasing crude output to address expected supply disruptions at a closely watched producer meeting.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield traded at 3.072 percent on Monday.