TSX Fades by Noon

Investors Ponder Canadian Wholesale Trade

Canada's main stock index was muted on Monday, as investors weighed weakness in energy shares against gains in the materials sector and renewed optimism around a U.S. stimulus deal.

The TSX Monday dipped 12.91 points by noon hour EDT to 16,425.84.

The Canadian dollar inched up 0.10 cents to 75.96 cents U.S.

Ballard Power Systems fell 20 cents to $23.43, and Brookfield Business
Partners LP was down 15 cents to $42.91.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were toy-maker Spin Master which jumped 6.6% after National Bank upgraded the stock, and AltaGas, which rose $3.49, or 12.6%, to $31.25, after multiple brokerages raised the price target of the stock.

On the economic beat, 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 slumped 2.82 points to 722.49.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower by noon hour, with utilities off 0.9%, communications down 0.7%, and gold, dulling in price 0.6%.

The five gainers were led by health-care, haler 2%, energy stocks, better by 0.7%, and information technology, up 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks slipped 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 shed early gains and lost 62.47 points midday to 28,543.84.

The S&P 500 faded 6.7 points to 3,477.11,

The NASDAQ poked ahead 5.08 points to 11,676.64.

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 Gross Domestic Product 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 0.77% from Friday’s 0.75%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices added 15 cents at $41.03 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices brightened $2.70 to $1,911.70