TSX Flat on Strong Earnings

Magna, Canadian Tire Impress

Canada's main stock index remained flat on Thursday, as robust earnings by a handful of companies helped offset losses in energy shares.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index dipped 0.27 points to greet noon hour at 15,369.16

The Canadian dollar edged up 0.02 cents to 76.26 cents U.S.

Strong earnings reports from auto parts maker Magna International and retailer Canadian Tire helped lift the consumer discretionary sector.

Magna shares gained more than 3%, while Canadian Tire jumped nearly 8%.

The financial sector rose after two of Canada's biggest insurers, Manulife Financial Corp and Sun Life Financial, posted third-quarter earnings that surpassed market expectations, helped by sales growth in Asia.

The industrials sector edged down after shares in Bombardier Inc fell 9%. The company said it would sell two of its units for $900 million U.S. and cut about 5,000 jobs.

In the economic docket, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation announced that the trend in housing starts was 206,171 units in October, compared to 207,809 units the month before.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange lost 4.95 points to 667.05

The 12 subgroups were evenly divided, as consumer discretionary stocks soared 2.3%, communications beamed higher 0.8%, and financials improved 0.4%.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed most by health-care, down 2%, energy, down 0.8%, and utilities, off 0.7%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks were little changed on Thursday following big gains in the previous session as investors focused on the latest monetary policy decision from the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones Industrials regained 35.63 points to 26,215.93, as Walgreens shares outperformed.

The S&P 500 sagged 4.88 points to 2,809.01, led lower by the communications services sector.

The NASDAQ dipped 31.51 points to 7,539.24, as Qualcomm shares fell sharply.

Qualcomm shares fell more than 6.5% after the company issued weaker-than-expected revenue guidance for fiscal first quarter 2019. The company cited lower Apple legacy shipments and lower demand out of China.

The Fed is expected to keep rates unchanged, but investors will look for clues about the central bank's futures moves on monetary policy. The Fed has hiked rates three times this year and is forecast to raise them once more before year-end.

Thursday's moves come after the major stock indexes posted sharp gains following the U.S. midterm election. The S&P 500 and Dow both rose more than 2% on Wednesday, notching their biggest post-midterm elections gains since 1982.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury sagged, raising yields back to Wednesday’s 3.23%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices lost 82 cents to $60.85 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices subtracted $4.60 an ounce to $1,224.10 U.S.