Positive Start for TSX

Onex, Calfrac in Focus

Equities in Toronto opened higher on Wednesday as oil prices gained on reports of a dip in U.S. crude inventories, while surveys showed global manufacturing activity picking up after a coronavirus-led downturn.

The TSX started Wednesday positive by 36.35 points to 16,681.34.

The Canadian dollar docked 0.15 cents to 76.45 cents U.S.

Calfrac Well Services investor Wilks Brothers LLC said on Tuesday it would launch a hostile $26.13-million takeover bid for one of Canada's largest oilfield service providers.

Shares in Calfrac grabbed a penny, or 6.7%, to 16 cents.

Scotiabank raised the target price on Onex Corp. to $82.00 from $81.00. Onex shares charged ahead 65 cents, or 1%, to $66.93.

Scotiabank raised the target price on Guardian Capital Group to $32.00 from $26.00. Guardian shares were unchanged in the first hour at $24.17.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 4.65 points to kick off Wednesday at 750.04.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were gainers in the first hour, with communications stocks towering 3.5%, consumer staples up 2.5%, and consumer discretionary issues picking up 1.1%.

The five losing subgroups were weighed most by gold, dulling in price 2.2%, materials, down 1.8%, and energy, off 1.7%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Wednesday, continuing a strong start to September for the market as traders took profits out of high-flying names like Apple and Tesla and snapped up shares in more beaten-down parts of the market.

The Dow Jones Industrials climbed 151.06 points to commence trading on Wednesday at 28,796.72.

The S&P 500 gathered 11.23 points to 3,537.50.

The NASDAQ Composite eased 37.98 points to 11,901.69.

Both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ hit all-time highs Tuesday.

Coca-Cola rose more than 2% along with Intel and IBM. However, all three of those stocks are still down year to date. Apple skidded 2.3%, and Tesla slid 5.9%, giving back some of their recently sharp gains.

The moves Wednesday also followed conflicting news in the fight against the coronavirus, with Swiss pharmaceutical firm Roche announcing that it would launch a new rapid antigen test in Europe by the end of the month. The company said it would apply for an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

However, an expert panel convened by the U.S. National Institute of Health said that a plasma treatment touted by President Trump and FDA head Stephen Hahn does not appear to be effective against COVID-19 based on current research.

The major U.S. averages rose even after the release of disappointing economic data. ADP said U.S. private payrolls grew by 428,000 in August. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a gain of 1.17 million.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were slightly higher, lowering yields to 0.66% from Tuesday’s 0.67%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices docked 32 cents to $42.44 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices faded two dollars to $1,976.60 U.S. an ounce.