Stocks Narrowly Hold onto Gains at Noon

Eldorado, Empire in Vogue

Canada's main stock index hit a five-month high on Tuesday as energy shares gained on higher oil prices and materials companies got a boost from an uptick in gold prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index came off its highs of the morning, holding onto 19.08 points worth of gains, to greet noon on Tuesday at 16,125.32

The Canadian dollar added 0.09 cents at 74.74 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Eldorado Gold, which jumped 30 cents, or 5.1%, to $6.23, and Peyto Exploration and Development, which rose 28 cents, or 3.9%, to $7.49.

Empire Company Ltd fell $1.10, or 3.7%, to $28.38, after Desjardins cut its price target on the stock.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange nosed ahead 1.06 points to 620.61

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups remained higher, as health-care was haler 2.2%, while gold shone 1.2% brighter, and utilities picked up 1%.

The four laggards were weighed most by consumer discretionary stocks, down 0.9%, while consumer staples and industrials each shed 0.8%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell on Tuesday, as shares of Boeing continued to struggle.

The 30-stock index fell 63 points to move into noon hour EDT at 25,587.88, with Boeing shaving off more than 150 points.

The S&P 500 took on 12.08 points to 2,795.63, led by gains in the energy and materials sectors.

The NASDAQ Composite gathered 44.29 points to 7,602.36.

Boeing shares fell more than 6%, adding to steep losses from Monday's session. Boeing fell after Edward Jones downgraded the stock to hold from buy, citing a possible "delay in orders" after two 737 MAX jets crashed in less than six months. The accident led several countries, including the U.K., China and Indonesia, to ground all flights involving that airplane model.

The U.S. consumer price index rose 0.2% in February, matching expectations. The so-called core CPI, which strips out food and energy, fell short of estimates by gaining just 0.1%.

Stocks in Asia Tuesday got a slight boost after British Prime Minister Theresa May got legally binding assurances from the European Union over the most contentious part of the deal, the Irish backstop.

Investor attention will be firmly focused on the Brexit deal in the U.K. when British Members of Parliament vote Tuesday evening on whether to accept or reject May's deal ahead of the scheduled March 29 departure from the E.U.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury made slight headway, lowering yields to 2.63% from Monday’s 2.64%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices took on 38 cents to $57.17 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $6.10 to $1,298 U.S. an ounce.