TSX Holds onto Gains

Husky, Winpak in Focus

Equities in Toronto edged up near noon on Friday after data showed a rise in retail sales and an uptick in house prices, but a fall in shares of oil producers capped gains.

The TSX approached noon up 25.64 points, to 16,272.36.

The Canadian dollar fell 0.13 cents to 75.91 cents U.S.

Husky Energy fell six cents, or 2.7%, the most on the TSX, to $3.46,
while Seven Generations Energy fell three cents to $4.26

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Winpak, which jumped $2.71 or 6.2%, to $46.67, and Kinross Gold, which rose 93 cents, or 7.6%, to $13.24, after its board approved a quarterly dividend of three cents per share.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Enbridge, off 16 cents to $40.39, Kinross Gold and Barrick Gold, which 48 cents, or 1.3%, to $38.66.

Ontario will clamp down on social gatherings to prevent "reckless careless people" from spreading the coronavirus at illegal parties, Premier Doug Ford said on Thursday.

Carolyn Wilkins, the senior deputy governor at the Bank of Canada who lost her bid for the top job just four months ago, will not seek a second term, the bank said on Thursday.

In the economic docket, Statistics Canada reported that July’s wholesale trade increased for a third consecutive month in July as sales rose 4.3% to a record high $65.0 billion on the strength of higher sales in the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories sub-sector.

Retail sales rose 0.6% to $52.9 billion in July, led by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gas stations.

The agency goes on to say retail sales in June and July topped those of February, just prior to the pandemic.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange added 1.08 points to 744.30.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative, with real-estate settling 1.2%, while communications dumped 1.1%, and health-care sank 0.6%.

The five gainers were led by materials, up 1.1%, information technology, climbing 0.6%, and industrials, ahead 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks were little changed on Friday as Wall Street tried to recover from another sharp sell-off in major technology names. The market was also on pace for its first weekly gain of the month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average remained in the red 46.1 points to 27,855.88.

The S&P 500 dipped 20.9 points to 3,336.16.

The NASDAQ ditched 110.83 points, or 1%, to 10,795.66.

Shares of Facebook rose 1.4%. Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet were all higher as well. Oracle, meanwhile, slipped 0.3% after the U.S. government said it will block all TikTok and WeChat downloads in the country on Sunday. Oracle is trying to finalize a partnership deal with TikTok-parent ByteDance.

Big Tech struggled in the previous session, dragging down the broader market and adding to its steep September drop. Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple have all lost at least 10% month to date.

Republicans and Democrats are still struggling to agree on how much aid to continue to provide in a follow-up bill to the previous $2-trillion package. President Donald Trump said Wednesday he liked “the larger numbers,” urging GOP lawmakers to go for a bigger coronavirus stimulus, but his comments left Republicans skeptical.

Meanwhile, the path to a COVID-19 vaccine, which is critical to the economic recovery, still seems unclear. Health officials said vaccinations would be in limited quantities this year and not widely distributed for six to nine months.

Still, the major averages were set to snap two-week losing streaks despite the uncertainties surrounding the market and economic outlook.

Both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ were up about 0.5% week to date heading into Friday’s session. The Dow was up 0.85% for the week.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury slumped, raising yields to Thursday’s 0.69%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices added 31 cents to $41.28 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices were shot up $11.70 to $1,961.60 U.S. an ounce.