TSX Fights Toward Breakeven

Aphria, Nexgen in Focus

The S&P/TSX Composite Index dipped 13.58 points to reach noon at 15,119.54

The Canadian dollar gained 0.29 cents at 75.78 U.S.

Top gainers on the TSX were shares of Aphria Inc, which jumped 75 cents, or 5.3%, to $13.40, followed by shares of Nexgen Energy, which rose 13 cents, or 4.8%, to $2.86.

Uni-Select Inc fell $2.48, or 10.6%, to $21.62, the most on the TSX, after reporting quarterly earnings.

The second biggest decliner was Canfor Corp, down $1.61, or 8.2%, to $ 17.93, after deal to acquire majority interest in Sweden's Vida Group.

On the economic front, the Canadian Real Estate Association said home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems edged back by 1.6% in October 2018.

CREA adds, while activity is still stronger compared to the first half of 2018, it remains below monthly levels recorded from early 2014 through 2017.

Elsewhere, an ADP report said Canada lost 23,000 jobs in October, hurt by a decline in hiring in the trade, transportation and utilities and natural resources and mining sectors.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 1.74 points, to 620.95

Seven of the 12 subgroups were lower, with consumer discretionary descending 1.3%, real-estate down 0.7%, and communication stocks off 0.4%.

The five gainers were led north by health-care, stronger by 3%, information technology up 0.8%, and gold, 1.2% brighter

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 struggled for gains Thursday as J.P. Morgan led banks higher, while declines in WalMart and Amazon added to losses in consumer discretionary stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average came off its lows of the morning, but still trailed Wednesday’s close by 60.36 points to 25,020.14

The S&P 500 inched up 0.11 points to 2,701.69, as gains in financial stocks offset losses in consumer discretionary names.

The NASDAQ regained 27.04 points to 7,163.43, amid a 2% gain in Apple and a 0.5% climb in Netflix.

Financials were mostly up on the day as a 1.8% uptick in J.P. Morgan Chase buoyed the big banks higher after famed investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a new stake in the company. Bank of America, also owned by Berkshire, rallied 1.7%.

Walmart's earnings showed the retail missed on revenue estimates, contributing to a 2.3% drop in shares. Though the company reported strong e-commerce sales and raised full-year guidance, the sales miss and news that Buffett dissolved his stake in the company weighed on the stock.

Losses in consumer discretionary stocks were exacerbated by home improvement retailer Home Depot, which fell 2.2% in the wake of disappointing earnings results at a major homebuilder.

KB Home sank 16% after the company cut its fourth-quarter sales forecast; peer homebuilder PulteGroup dropped 2.7% while Toll Brothers lost 5.6%

Cisco shares rallied 3.8% after the tech giant beat on both the top and bottom lines for the first fiscal quarter. The San Jose, California-based Cisco reported revenue rose 7.7% as it takes action to mitigate the impact any future impact from the Trump administration's trade dispute with China.

Sterling plunged by over 1.4% against the U.S. dollar Thursday morning after U.K. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigned from his post, piling yet more pressure on U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May as she tries to get her draft Brexit agreement through Parliament.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000 for the week ended Nov. 10, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday. Retail sales rose 0.8%, higher than the 0.5% expected.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury gained, lowering yields to 3.10% from Wednesday’s 3.13%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices rose 57 cents to $56.82 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices moved ahead $3.80 at $1,213.90 U.S. an ounce.