TSX Heads for 10th Straight Win

Utilities Score Big, Energy Fails

Canadian stocks OD’d on positive vibes as Thursday wore on, as energy weakness was shrugged by strength everywhere else.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index grew 51.54 points to greet noon Thursday at 15,162.80, gunning for what could be a 10th straight winning session.

The Canadian dollar doffed 0.19 cents to 75.22 cents U.S.

Alberta's decision to force production cuts is benefiting oil companies with higher prices, but is also pushing capital elsewhere and threatens to undermine booming crude-by-rail shipments, only adding to the day's downbeat tone.

Husky Energy jumped $1.97, or 12.7%, , the most on the TSX, to $17.50, as the oil producer said it will not extend its hostile bid for MEG Energy after failing to get sufficient support from the rival's board and shareholders.

MEG Energy shares plunged $3.05, or 35.7%, the most on the TSX, to $5.49.

Utility stocks led the charge upward, though, as Fortis climbed 35 cents to $46.33. Communications stocks were also strong, as Rogers added 83 cents, or 1.2%, to $72.52.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 3.14 points to 594.90.

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive midday, with utilities and communications each up 0.8%, and consumer discretionary stocks better by 0.7%.

Only energy seemed to run out of gas (pardon the pun), losing 0.8%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose slightly on Thursday as investors awaited the release of Netflix’s latest quarterly results, but gains were held in check amid weaker-than-expected Morgan Stanley earnings and uncertainty around the Chinese economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to within 14.76 points of breakeven to 24,192.40

The S&P 500 regained 4.68 points to 2,620.78, as the materials sector outperformed.

The NASDAQ Composite climbed 11.91 points to 7,046.60, as Netflix posted slight gains.

Netflix is scheduled to report after the close Thursday. The stock has been on a tear so far this year, rising more than 31%. Netflix’s earnings will arrive after the streaming giant announced it would raise monthly subscription prices by 13% to 18%, a move that was cheered by Wall Street earlier this week. Dow member American Express is also set to report after the close.

Morgan Stanley reported earnings and revenue that fell short of Wall Street estimates. The company’s results were dragged down by poor performances in its trading and wealth management businesses. Morgan Stanley shares fell 4%.

Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo also reported quarterly earnings this week. American Express and Netflix are scheduled to report after the close Thursday. Netflix’s earnings will arrive after the streaming giant announced it would raise monthly subscription prices by 13% to 18%, a move that was cheered by Wall Street earlier this week.

Thursday’s moves come after the major indexes posted solid gains in the previous session, lifted by the sharp gains in Goldman and Bank of America. The major indexes also came with solid gains for the week, having risen at least 0.8%.

Concerns over China appeared to weigh on sentiment Thursday. China’s central bank made its biggest ever daily net cash injection via reverse repo operations, pumping $82.73 billion U.S. into the banking system. The news came after comments from the Chinese state planner and Premier Li Keqiang suggested the country would inject more stimulus amid concerns of a slowdown in economic growth.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury rallied, lowering yields back to Wednesday’s 2.73%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices hesitated 62 cents to $51.69 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dropped $2.60 to $1,291.20 U.S. an ounce.