Stocks Flat at Noon

Equitable, Gildan in Focus

Equities in Canada’s largest centre sagged by noon ET on Friday, on weakness in consumer and health-care stocks, and amid concerns about slowing growth in China.

The TSX Composite Index faded into the red 4.21 points to 16,422.09

The Canadian dollar crept up 0.03 at 76.14 cents U.S.

Equitable Group led a mini-charge by financial stocks, up $2.30, or 2.1%, to $110.13, while Home Capital Group climbed 43 cents, or 1.6%, to $26.86.

Industrials also prospered, as Bombardier tacked on 1.5 cents to $1.625.

Gildan Activewear Inc fell $11.04, or 23.8%, the most on the TSX, to $35.45, after the company lowered its full-year profit forecast. The second-biggest fall was in Aurora Cannabis, down 26 cents, or 5.1%, to $4.85

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange remained lower 1.65 points to 542.42

Seven of the 12 Toronto subgroups had turned negative midday, as consumer discretionary and health-care stocks each tumbled 2.3%, while information technology issues dwindled 1.1%.

The five gainers were co-led by industrials and financials, each ahead 0.4%, while communications acquired 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks traded lower on Friday amid weak overseas data, but remained on track to post solid weekly gains after the release of better-than-expected earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrials dumped 94.54 points to break for lunch at 26,931.34

The S&P 500 fell 11.83 points to 2,986.12

The NASDAQ Composite sank 81.5 points to 8,075.35

More than 70 S&P 500 companies have reported calendar third-quarter earnings this week. Of those companies, 81% have posted better-than-expected results.

Weak data from China weighed down the market on Friday.

Some of the companies posting stronger-than-forecast results this week include Bank of America, Netflix, J.P. Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. Coca-Cola continued that trend on Friday, rising more than 2%. Their results helped push the major indexes higher for the week.

The Dow was up 0.8% for the week through Thursday’s close. The S&P 500 increased 0.9% and the NASDAQ grew 1.2% for the week. The major indexes are also within striking distance of their record highs.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 1.74% from Thursday’s 1.76%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dipped one cent to $53.92 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dipped $3.40 to $1,494.50 U.S. an ounce.