More Downward Movement for TSX

Banks in Forefront

Canada's main stock index futures dropped on Thursday, as oil prices plunged 2% on demand worries fueled by the rise in coronavirus cases outside China.

The TSX Composite Index flopped 114.59 points Wednesday to 17,062.78.

The Canadian dollar ducked 0.01 cents early Thursday to 74.91 cents U.S.

March futures tumbled 0.6% early Thursday.

National Bank of Canada on Thursday beat estimates for quarterly profit, helped by growth in its financial markets and wealth management units.

TD Bank Group reported a 24% rise in quarterly profit on Thursday, as Canada's second-biggest lender by market value benefited from strong performance in its wholesale banking unit.

Scotiabank raised the target price on Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce to $120 from $119

RBC raised the target price on Northland Power to $33.00 from $28.00

CIBC cut the target price Freshii to $2.50 from $3.00

On the economic front, Statistics Canada revealed the average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $1,042 in December, little changed from November. On a year-over-year basis, says the agency, earnings grew 3.4%, the effect of an increase observed from March to October.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 2.63 points, or 3.6%, Wednesday to 544.62.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock futures on Thursday morning pointed to declines at the day’s open amid concerns the coronavirus may be spreading in the U.S.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials stumbled 370 points, or 1.4%, early Thursday to 26,544. A decline of that magnitude would put the 30-stock average in correction territory, down at least 10% from its 52-week high.

The Dow has already fallen more than 8% from its record high set earlier this month.

Futures for the S&P 500 fell 42.5 points, or 1.4%, at 3,067.75.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite cratered 142.75 points, on 1.6%, to 8,708.

Apple and Intel were among the worst-performing Dow stocks in the premarket, dropping more than 1.5% each. AMD retreated 3.3% and Nvidia fell 2.5%. Meanwhile, Gilead Sciences jumped 6.8% after the company announced the start of two studies for a possible coronavirus treatment.

The Centers for Disease Control confirmed the first U.S. coronavirus case of unknown origin in Northern California, indicating possible "community spread" of the disease. The CDC doesn’t know exactly how the patient, a California resident, contracted the virus.

President Donald Trump tried to assuage concerns over the outbreak.Trump said in a news conference Wednesday night the risk of coronavirus to people in the U.S. is still "very low."

He added the U.S. is going to "spend whatever’s appropriate" to deal with the virus. Trump also put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the U.S. response to the coronavirus.

Microsoft warned it will not meet its revenue guidance for a key segment. In a statement, its supply chain is "returning to normal operations at a slower pace than anticipated," which led the tech giant to cut its forecast for its personal computing division.

Personal computing accounted for 36% of Microsoft’s overall revenue during the previous quarter. Microsoft shares were down 2.9% in premarket trading.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 2.1%, Thursday while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index squeezed higher 0.3%,

Oil prices were down $1.39 to $47.34 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices regained $12.30 to $1,655.40 U.S. an ounce.