Stocks Flat at Open

Altagas, Canadian Tire in Focus


Equities in Toronto opened slightly higher on Monday, supported by gains in energy and materials sector, while renewed optimism around a U.S. stimulus agreement before the presidential election lifted sentiment.

The TSX Monday regained 14.69 points from Friday’s close to 16,453.14

The Canadian dollar accumulated 0.16 cents to 76.03 cents U.S.

Altice USA Inc's $11.1-billion revised offer to acquire Cogeco was rejected on Sunday by the Canadian cable company's top investor, the Audet family.

Cogeco shares lost six cents to $84.70.

American Equity Investment Life Holding said on Sunday that it entered into a strategic partnership with Brookfield Asset Management and rejected an unsolicited acquisition proposal from Athene Holding and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.

Brookfield Asset Management shares gained 40 cents to $44.88.

Credit Suisse raised the rating on Altagas to outperform from neutral. Altagas popped 95 cents, or 5.8%, to $17.40.

National Bank of Canada raised the price target on Canadian Tire Corporation to $156.00 from $128.00. Canadian Tire shares progressed $1.03 to $148.93.

National also raised the rating on Spin Master to outperform from sector perform. Spin Master shares spiked $3.20, or 11.5%, to $30.96.

On the economic bear, Statistics Canada reported wholesale sales grew for a fourth consecutive month in August, though at a much slower pace compared with the previous three months.

Sales edged up 0.3% to $65.7 billion in August after growing 5.2% in July.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange recovered 3.94 points to 729.25.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher in the first hour, with information technology climbing 0.9%, materials better by 0.8%, while gold bettered itself by 0.7%.

Weighing most among the five laggards were consumer staples, industrials and financials, each off 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks rose on Monday as investors hoped for a stimulus deal from Washington, although a rising number of Covid-19 cases dampened sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrials amassed 78.60 points to begin a new week at 28,684.91

The S&P 500 inched ahead 0.02 points to 3,483.79.

The NASDAQ poked ahead 2.92 points to 11,674.48.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office said over the weekend that she is giving the Trump administration 48 hours to reach an aid deal before the Nov. 3 election. Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued their discussions on Saturday. They agreed to speak again on Monday.

A continued economic recovery in China also boosted sentiment on Monday. The world’s second largest economy reported third-quarter GDP growth of 4.9%, which was on the low end of expectations, but indicates an improving outlook.

Meanwhile, global coronavirus cases hit 40 million on Monday, which put a damper on bullish sentiment.

An analysis of Johns Hopkins University data showed Covid-19 cases were growing by 5% or more in 38 states as of Friday. Nationwide, the daily case average has risen by more than 16% on a week-over-week basis to nearly 55,000. New coronavirus infections in Europe are rising by about 97,000 per day, up 44% from the prior week.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury lost ground, lifting yields to 0.75% from Friday’s 0.75%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices added 19 cents at $41.07 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices brightened $5.30 to $1,911.70