Stocks Higher as U.S. Opens Up

Bausch, Ballard in Focus

Equities in Canada’s largest market rose on Wednesday, boosted by energy stocks after oil prices gained as the easing of lockdowns in the United States and parts of Europe raised hopes of higher fuel demand in summer.

The TSX recovered 69.49 points to begin Wednesday at 19,257.52

The Canadian dollar hiked 0.17 cents to 81.46 cents U.S.

Barrick Gold reported a 78% rise in first-quarter profit, helped by rising gold and copper prices, and said it was on track to meet annual guidance. Barrick shares acquired nine cents to $27.15.

Loblaw Cos beat market estimates for quarterly revenue as homebound consumers shopped more for groceries and other essentials online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Loblaw shares hiked 69 cents, or 1%, to $68.91.

Guggenheim cut the target price on Bausch Health Companies to $33 from $36. Bausch shares dipped 46 cents, or 1.3%, to $33.99.

Cowen and Company cut the target price on Ballard Power Systems to $5.50 from $20.00. Ballard shares sank 29 cents, or 1.5%, to $19.70.

Berenberg raised the price target on Nutrien to $70 from $68. Nutrien shares gained 13 cents to $71.98.

Alberta reported its first death of a patient from a rare blood clot condition after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.


The TSX Venture Exchange nicked higher 1.92 points to kick off Wednesday at 946.41.

Eight of the 12 subgroups moved higher in the first hour, led by energy, rumbling 1.8%, industrials, gaining 0.5%, and consumer staples, better by 0.4%.

The four laggards were weighed most by gold, sagging 0.6%, utilities, down 0.5%, and real-estate, off 0.4%.


U.S. stocks were flat at Wednesday’s open, following a session defined by major weakness in technology stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrials sank 79.97 points to 34,053.06.

The S&P 500 slid 2.95 points to 4,161.71.

The NASDAQ Composite dished off 5.54 points to 13,627.96.

Major tech shares rebounded in early trading. Apple rose 1.6% and Tesla gained 0.7% after falling on Tuesday. Amazon, Alphabet and Microsoft also rose modestly.

There was good earnings news in the tech sector as well. Activision Blizzard rose 5% after better-than-expected earnings reports.
Outside of tech, General Motors shares climbed 2.5% in early trading after earnings blew past expectations.

U.S. equities hit lows of the day following Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s comments that interest rates may have to rise somewhat to keep economy from overheating.

Later in the day, the former Fed Chair tempered her comments somewhat, saying she respects the central bank’s independence and was not trying to influence decision-making there.

Private payrolls rose by 742,000 jobs in April, according to ADP. This result was below expectations of 800,000 jobs from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

ADP did revise its March report upward by 48,000 jobs. These numbers come ahead of Friday’s closely-watched jobs report.

The IHS Markit U.S. services purchasing managers index came in at 64.7 for April, ahead of the projected reading of 63.3, according to economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index came in slightly under expectations at 62.7, however. PMIs are calculated such that readings above 50 represent expansion in an economic sector.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys dipped, raising yields to 1.60% from Tuesday’s 1.59%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices acquired 83 cents to $66.52 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices brightened $6.20 to $1,782.20 U.S. an ounce.