Slight Losses in Store for TSX at Open

Altus, Leon’s in Focus

Futures for stocks in Canada’s largest market fell on Thursday, weighed by lower crude prices after the International Energy Agency lowered its 2020 oil demand forecast following unprecedented travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 78.27 points, to end Wednesday at 16,675.28

The Canadian dollar moved higher 0.14 cents Thursday to 75.65 cents U.S.

September futures ditched 0.1% Thursday.

Scotiabank raised the target price on Altus Group to $45.00 from $43.00

CIBC raised price target on Boyd Group Services to $233.00 from $212.00

BMO raised the price target on Leon's Furniture to $17.00 from $14.00

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange recovered 8.26 points, or 1.2%, to finish Wednesday at 725.71.

ON WALLSTREET

Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes edged lower on Wednesday night, hours after the S&P 500 flirted with — but fell just short of — a new record close.

Futures for Dow Jones Industrials dropped 34 points, or 0.1%, early Thursday, to 27,832.

Futures for the S&P 500 slipped 3.25 points, or 0.1%, at 3,366.75.

The S&P 500 gained 1.4% during Wednesday’s regular session in its largest one-day jump since July 6. The broad market index finished the day at 3,380.35. In the final hour of trading, the broader market index briefly traded above its record closing high of 3,386.15.

The index has risen every day this month except for a 0.8% loss on Tuesday; it’s up 3.3% since the end of July.

Futures for the NASDAQ gained 22.5 points, or 0.2%, to 11,148.50.

Stocks rallied on Wednesday with the major indexes climbing amid a rebound in Big Tech, strength from health care and gains in discretionary equities.

Household consumer tech names Facebook, Apple and Amazon rallied 1.4%, 3.3% and 2.6% during Wednesday’s regular trading while Netflix and Microsoft added 1.8% and 2.8%, respectively.

Stocks that would benefit most from the economy reopening started Wednesday’s session off strong, but ultimately ended the day lagging the tech names. Cruise operator Carnival dropped 4%. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup were all lower.

Investors continue to keep a watchful eye on Washington, where the nation’s top lawmakers continue to haggle over a new coronavirus-relief package for American households and businesses.

Though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both said this week that the two sides are far away from an agreement, many investors believe a deal is inevitable.

Another 1.1 million workers are expected to have filed first-time claims for state unemployment benefits during the week ended August 8.
That would mark a deceleration from the prior week, though still well above any reading prior to the pre-Covid era.

Last week, the government said initial jobless claims rose by 1.18 million during the week ended August 1. That marked the 20th straight week in which initial claims remained above one million.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 heightened 1.8%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dipped 0.1%.

Oil prices eked up two cents to $42.69 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices skidded $14.10 to $1,938.30.