Stocks Flat at Open

Norbord in Focus

Equities in Toronto were muted at the open on Friday as a drop in energy shares offset gains in materials stocks, with rising coronavirus cases globally weighing on sentiment.

The TSX ditched 3.65 points to begin the week’s last session at 16,906.16.

The Canadian dollar was up 0.22 cents to 76.63 cents U.S.

National Bank of Canada raised the target price on Imperial Oil to $22.00 from $21.00

Credit Suisse raised the rating on Norbord to neutral from underperform.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported retail sales Retail sales rose 1.1% to $53.9 billion in September—the fifth consecutive monthly increase since the record decline in April.

The hike was led by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, general merchandise stores and food and beverage stores.

Moreover, house prices continued to increase in the majority of housing markets across the country in October.

StatsCan’s housing price index revealed that, nationally, prices for new homes rose 0.8% in October following a 1.2% acceleration in September, with prices up in 21 of the 27 census metropolitan areas surveyed.


The TSX Venture Exchange jumped 12.99 points, or 1.8%, to 742.43.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups began the session lower, as energy descended 0.7%, industrials fell 0.6%, and communications eased off 0.5%.

The five gainers were co-led by materials and gold, each up 1.5%, and information technology, up 0.4%.


Stocks fell on Friday as rising new coronavirus cases, coupled with questions around central-bank funding for key emergency programs, cast doubt on a swift economic recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrials slumped 133.53 points to begin Friday at 29,349.70.

The S&P 500 dumped 11.3 points to 3,570.57.

The NASDAQ inched up 2.36 points to 11,907.07.

UnitedHealth dipped 1.3% and Boeing fell 1.4%Financials fell 0.9% to lead the S&P 500 lower along with energy.

The U.S. seven-day average of daily new Covid-19 infections now stands at 165,029, according to an analysis of John Hopkins data, 24% higher than a week ago. On Thursday alone, a record 187,833 cases were reported. Many states have rolled back reopening plans and implemented fresh restrictions to curb the spread.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday issued a "Limited Stay at Home Order" on a majority of the state’s residents, requiring nonessential work and gatherings to cease between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised Americans against traveling for Thanksgiving.

Also weighing on sentiment Friday was a disagreement between the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve over the continuation of funding for some of the emergency programs implemented during the recession.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is seeking to end a handful of the Fed facilities that bought corporate bonds as well as the Main Street Lending Program targeted towards small- and medium-sized businesses. The move has drawn pushback from the central bank, which said the programs continue to serve an important role to support the vulnerable economy.

On the bullish side, markets got more good news on the vaccine front with Pfizer and BioNTech saying they will apply for an emergency use authorization for their vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration on Friday. The companies said they can be ready to ship the vaccine within hours after FDA approves the authorization.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were higher, weighing yields to 0.84% from at Thursday’s 0.85%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices inched downward one cent to $41.73 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices regained $15.80 to $1,877.30 U.S.