Toronto Stocks Point Upward at Open

Dow Inc., AT&T in Focus

Equities in Canada’s largest centre opened slightly higher on Thursday as weakness in the materials sector was offset by upbeat earnings from Rogers Communications.

The TSX recovered 55.85 points to open Thursday at 16,286.08.

The Canadian dollar was unchanged at 76.02 cents U.S.

Rogers shares celebrated the earnings news by ballooning $4.63, or 8.8%, to $56.98.

Sun Life Financial will buy a majority stake in alternative credit investment manager Crescent Capital Group LP for up to $338 million. Sun shares brightened 49 cents to $55.16.

National Bank of Canada cut the price target on Agnico Eagle Mines to $128.00 from $130.00. Agnico shares ducked 91 cents to $106.50.

National also cut the target price on Newmont to $121.00 from $125.00. Shares in Newmont retreated 85 cents, or 1.1%, to $79.78.

Scotiabank raised the target price on Toromont Industries to $85.00 from $73.00. Toromont spiked 99 cents a share, or 1.1%, to $88.47.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 0.93 points to 710.27.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive in the first hour, most notably, communications, ahead 3.1%, while health-care jumped 2.2%, and industrials grew 1.9%.

The three laggards were gold, slipping 1.2%, while materials fell 0.9%, and consumer staples hesitated 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks traded flat on Thursday amid further uncertainty around fiscal stimulus talks and the election.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 34.03 points to kick off Thursday’s session at 28,244.85.

The S&P 500 added 3.88 points to 3,439.44.

The NASDAQ nicked higher 2.15 points to 11,486.84.

Markets got a lift after shares of Tesla, Coca-Cola, Dow Inc, AT&T and CSX all rose on strong earnings results. Better-than-expected unemployment data also capped the market’s decline.

Companies continued to file third-quarter earnings reports on Wednesday, with both electric car maker Tesla and burrito chain Chipotle offering investors updates on their businesses.

Elon Musk’s Tesla reported its fifth straight quarter of profits, reporting per-share earnings of 76 cents versus the consensus estimate of 57 cents expected by analysts. The company had already reported that it delivered 139,300 vehicles during the quarter, a new record for Tesla.

CEO Musk noted on the company’s earnings call that Tesla plans to start delivering cars from new factories in Brandenburg, Germany and Austin, Texas in 2021 but that output could be slow at first. The stock was up 3.8%

Coca-Cola rose more than 1% after the company reported a stronger-than-forecast profit for the previous quarter. CSX, Dow Inc and AT&T also rose on the back of better-than-expected earnings.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, meanwhile, saw its equity fall 6.4% after it said a shift to delivery orders ballooned costs and led to reduced drink sales in the third quarter.

Futures came under some pressure overnight after U.S. officials said Iran is taking steps to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, and Russia has obtained American voter information.

Traders continued to watch stimulus talks as markets swing this month on headlines regarding the negotiations. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, continued to offer investors some incremental room for optimism late Wednesday.

Traders appeared to handicap Hammill’s comments, however, given weeks of similar comments yet little tangible evidence that Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be able to send a bill to President Donald Trump’s desk before the Nov. 3 elections.

On the data front, the U.S. Labor Department said weekly jobless claims fell to 787,000 for the week ending Oct. 17. That marks the first time since March that claims come in below 800,000. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected first-time applicants for state unemployment insurance to have totaled 875,000.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury slumped a bit, lifting yields to 0.83% from Wednesday’s 0.82%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices took on 63 cents at $40.66 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices declined $25.50 to $1,904.