Stocks Show Gains Heading into Weekend

Eldorado, Wesdome in Focus



Canada's main stock index rose on Friday as the domestic jobless rate fell in June, signaling a recovery from the economic fallout caused by coronavirus outbreak.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 64.42 points to greet noon EDT Friday at 15,633.06.

The Canadian dollar skidded 0.08 cents at 73.53 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Interfor Corporation, which jumped 59 cents, or 4.7%, to $13.17, and Eldorado Gold, which rose 48 cents, or 3.3%, to $14.95, after it expected a 50% jump in Q2 production.

Wesdome Gold Mines fell 36 cents, or 2.6%, the most on the TSX, to $13.31. The second-biggest decliner was Descartes Systems Group, down $2.21, or 3.1%, to $72.46.

In the economic docket, Statistics Canada reported the economy gained back 953,000 jobs in June, for a 3.5% increase, with gains split between full-time work (488,000 or 3.5%) and part-time work (465,000 or 17.9%).

Even with consecutive increases in May and June, employment in June was still 1.8 million (or 9.2%) lower than in February, before the outbreak hit this country.

A survey of economists says the economic recovery underway in Canada will be stronger in the near-term than expected a few months ago. Economists said a resurgence in coronavirus infections and high unemployment were the two biggest risks.

Also, Canada is preparing to dial back emergency income support for people laid off due to COVID-19 in favour of more traditional unemployment benefits and will shift resources to a wage subsidy program that encourages employers to rehire staff.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange surged 10.13 points, or 1.5%, to 682.09.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher midday, with health-care stocks and energy surging 1.2%, and financials richer by 1.1%.

The three laggards were gold, down 1.2%, information technology, off 1%, and materials, skidding 0.8%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose in choppy trading Friday as traders digested news about a potential coronavirus treatment as well as another record spike in virus cases.

The Dow Jones Industrials climbed 219.18 points to 25,925.27.

The S&P 500 recovered 14.75 points to 3,166.80

The tech-heavy NASDAQ edged higher 0.65 points to 10,548.40.

Gilead Sciences said its coronavirus treatment candidate, remdesivir, "was associated with an improvement in clinical recovery and a 62% reduction in the risk of mortality compared with standard of care." The news sent Gilead shares up more than 2%.

BioNTech’s CEO also told The Wall Street Journal the company’s coronavirus vaccine candidate could be ready for approval by December. The company’s U.S.-listed shares rose 6%.

The news led to a rotation out of major tech stocks and into companies that would benefit from the economy reopening. Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Microsoft were all lower. Delta Air Lines, United and American all gained at least 1%. Bank shares such as JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup rose 2.1% and 1.8%, respectively.

Gilead and BioNTech’s comments came after the U.S. reported more than 63,000 additional coronavirus cases, a record. The country’s seven-day average now stands at more than 53,000 cases.

Investors have flocked into mega-cap tech names such as Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix and Apple amid fears this latest resurgence in coronavirus could lead to people staying home for longer. All four of these stocks are trading at, or near all-time highs. They are also up at least 3.9% each week to date.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury faded, raising yields back to Thursday’s 0.61%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained 59 cents to $40.21 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dropped $1.30 to $1,802.50 U.S. an ounce.