Gains Wilt for TSX by Midday

Empire, Descartes in Focus


Equities in Canada’s largest centre faded as morning became afternoon on Thursday, ahead of a speech by Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem, with wider sentiment also boosted by a rebound in tech-related stocks on Wall Street.

The TSX dropped 29.97 points to move into noon hour at 16,353.63.

The Canadian dollar bowed 0.07 cents to 75.96 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Transcontinental, which jumped 39 cents, or 2.6%, to $15.71, and Empire Co, which rose $1.31, or 3.9%, to $35.36.

Descartes Systems Group fell $4.43, or 5.8%, the most on the TSX, to $72.06, after announcing plans to lay off 5% of its global workforce, while the second-biggest decliner was Enerplus, down 17 cents, or 6%, to $2.65.

Macklem is set to deliver a speech at 12:30 p.m. ET to discuss the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on different sectors following Wednesday's policy meet where it kept key interest rate unchanged.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange hung onto gains of 4.99 points to 748.25.

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups approached noon in the red, with utilities sliding 1%, while communications dipped 0.7%, and real-estate demurred 0.5%.

The two gainers were health-care, haler by 1.2%, and industrials, up 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose slightly in choppy trading on Thursday as tech shares tried to build on the sharp rebound from the previous session.

The Dow Jones Industrials gave up gains and faded into noon hour 59.71 points to 27,880.76.

The S&P 500 dipped 9.44 points to 3,389.52.

The NASDAQ Composite remained green, but saw its gains wither to 8.8 points to 11,150.36.

Apple shares were down 0.1% after rising as much as 2.7%. Tesla, which was up more than 7% at one point, traded 6% higher. Netflix and Microsoft were both lower. Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet were all up more than 1%, however.

Thursday’s moves follow a broad rally for the market on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 posting its best day since June. The NASDAQ pulled itself out of correction territory after a selloff for major tech stocks dragged down the market for three straight sessions.

Traders also examined key unemployment data on Thursday.

The U.S. Labor Department said the number of first-time filers for unemployment benefits came in at 884,000. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected claims to come in at 850,000.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury lost some ground, pushing yields up 0.71% from Wednesday’s 0.7%. Treasury Prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped 16 cents to $37.89 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices added $13.30 to $1,968.20 U.S. an ounce.