Stocks Stumble at Open

Enghouse in Focus

Canada's main stock index opened lower on Thursday, on a sluggish economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The TSX tailed off 40.69 points to open Thursday at 16,657.28.

The Canadian dollar sank 0.33 cents to 76.32 cents U.S.

Altice USA’s $10.3-billion offer on Wednesday to snap up the U.S. assets of Cogeco Inc. and sell the rest to Rogers Communications has been rejected by the Canadian cable company's top investor. Cogeco shares gained 29 cents to $92.48.

RBC raised the target price on Alimentation Couche-Tard to $54.00 from $53.00. Couche-Tard picked up 11 cents to $46.11.

RBC raised target price on Cogeco’s communications arm to $117.00 from $109.00. Cogeco Communications shares fell 33 cents to $113.94.

RBC raised the target price on Enghouse Systems to $88 from $75. Enghouse shares tumbled $2.16, or 2.7%, to $78.18.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported this morning that Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world widened from $1.6 billion in June to $2.5 billion in July.

The agency went on to say imports increased 12.7% in July, while exports rose 11.1%.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange slid 4.37 points to open Thursday at 745.27.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups gained ground in the first hour, with energy improving 0.7%, while financials and real-estate each acquired 0.6%.

The four laggards were information technology, declining 2.7%, while gold and materials each wilted 1.3%.

Shares in the industrial sector were unchanged.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell on Thursday as investors paused in the wake of already-robust gains seen on Wall Street so far this week. Tech, the market leader since the rebound began in late March, was the biggest laggard.

The Dow Jones Industrials tumbled 131.83 points to open for business Thursday at 28,968.67.

The S&P 500 forfeited 39.39 points, or 1.1%, to 3,541.48.

The NASDAQ Composite cratered 280.88 points to 11,775.84.

Apple shares dipped more than 3%. Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet were all down at least 1.7%. Microsoft slipped 2.5%. Netflix pulled back by 0.9%.

Thursday’s declines came after another record-setting session for the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite. That run-up was powered by cyclical stocks, those that move in response to the health of the U.S. economy, and added to the market’s strong weekly gains.

The S&P 500 grew 2.1%, and NASDAQ gathered 3.1%, week to date entering the session. The Dow entered the session up 1.6% for this week. To be sure, some analysts think it may be time for the market to consolidate some of its recent sharp gains.

The number of first-time filers for unemployment benefits totaled 881,000 for the week ending Aug. 29, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected first-time applications to have decelerated to 950,000 during the week ending Aug. 29.

That report came a day ahead of a widely anticipated U.S. jobs report. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect the U.S. economy to have added 1.321 million jobs in August. The jobs report will be released as lawmakers struggle to reach a deal on further coronavirus stimulus.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained slightly, lowering yields to 0.64% from Wednesday’s 0.65%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell $1.06 to $40.45 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices let go of $3.80 to $1,949.80 U.S. an ounce.