TSX Clears Breakeven by Noon

Tuesday is Budget Day in Canada

Stocks in Canada's largest market doggedly made their way higher, as suspense builds over what the Trudeau government has in store in its budget.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index recovered 8.97 points to greet noon EDT Tuesday at 16,260.34.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.34 cents at 75.3 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Hexo, which rose 44 cents, or 4.9%, to $9.35, and Maple Leaf Foods, which rose $1.97, or 7.3%, to $29.08, after TD Securities upgraded the stock to "action list buy" from "buy"

On the other hand, Northland Power fell $2.39, or 9.3%, to $23.35, after a $750-million secondary stock offering.

Cormark Securities resumed coverage on Air Canada with a "buy" rating and $47.00 target price. Shares in the "Maple Leaf Airline" gained 33 cents, or 1.1%, to $31.75

CIBC cut the target price on AutoCanada to $12.50 from $13.00. Shares in AutoCanada tailed off a penny to $11.48.

National Bank of Canada raised the target price on Boralex to $25.00 from $24.00. Boralex shares shot up 40 cents, or 2.1%, to $19.19.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to unveil a stimulus-filled federal budget, the last budget ahead of the federal election in October. Morneau will deliver the document at the close of the markets Tuesday afternoon.

The Alberta government says the province will increase crude production limits by 25,000 barrels per day in May and a further 25,000 bpd in June

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 1.12 points to 633.71

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher, with health-care better by 0.8%, consumer discretionary stocks up 0.7%, and energy up 0.4%.

The five laggards were weighed most by information technology, sliding 0.8%, while industrials and utilities each lost 0.6%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Tuesday, broadly supported on expectations the Federal Reserve could strike a dovish tone at its latest monetary-policy meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average popped 161.32 points by midday to 26,075.42, led by DowDuPont and Boeing.

The S&P 500 moved higher 16.87 points to 2,849.81, as the materials and health-care sectors outperformed.

The NASDAQ Composite climbed 51.5 points to 7,765.98

The Fed kicked off its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday. Market expectations for a rate hike are at zero, with most investors pricing in no change in policy. However, investors will look for clues on the Fed's economic outlook.

Stocks have been on a tear since the Fed's last meeting in late January. In that time, the S&P 500 has risen more than 5%. The broad index is also up more than 12% for 2019 in part because investors expect less policy tightening for the year.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury slumped, raising yields to 2.61% from Monday’s 2.59%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were down 13 cents to $58.96 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $5.90 to $1,307.40 U.S. an ounce.