Stocks Flat at Outset

Tuesday is Budget Day in Canada

Canada's main stock index was fairly calm Tuesday, despite gains in energy shares that got a lift from higher crude prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index docked 1.03 points to open Tuesday at 16,250.34.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.43 cents at 75.4 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Hexo, which rose 44 cents, or 4.9%, to $9.35, and Maple Leaf Foods, which rose $1.60, or 5.9%, to $28.71, after TD Securities upgraded the stock to "action list buy" from "buy"

Northland Power fell $2.42, or 9.4%, to $23.32, after a $750-million secondary stock offering.

Cormark Securities resumed coverage on Air Canada with a “buy” rating and $47.00 target price. Shares in the “Maple Leaf Airline” subsided three cents to $31.39

CIBC cut the target price on AutoCanada to $12.50 from $13.00. Shares in AutoCanada tailed off nine cents to $11.40.

National Bank of Canada raised the target price on Boralex to $25.00 from $24.00. Boralex shares shot up 39 cents, or 2.1%, to $19.18.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to unveil a stimulus-filled federal budget, the last budget ahead of the federal election in October. Morneau will deliver the document at the close of the markets Tuesday afternoon.

The Alberta government says the province will increase crude production limits by 25,000 barrels per day in May and a further 25,000 bpd in June


The TSX Venture Exchange gained ahead 4.06 points to 632.59

The 12 TSX subgroups were divided equally, as health-care raced ahead 1.7%, while energy prospered 0.4%, and gold was 0.3% to the good.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed most heavily by information technology, down 0.7%, utilities, surrendering 0.6%, and communications, off 0.5%.


Stocks rose on Tuesday, broadly supported on expectations the Federal Reserve could strike a dovish tone at its latest monetary-policy meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average leaped at the opening by 119.52 points to 26,033.62, led by gains in Goldman Sachs and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

The S&P 500 moved higher 10.6 points to 2,843.46, as the materials and consumer discretionary sectors outperformed.

The NASDAQ Composite strengthened 31.22 points to 7,745.69

The Fed kicked off its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday. Market expectations for a rate hike are at zero, with most investors pricing in no change in policy. However, investors will look for clues on the Fed's economic outlook.

Stocks have been on a tear since the Fed's last meeting in late January. In that time, the S&P 500 has risen more than 5%. The broad index is also up more than 12% for 2019 in part because investors expect less policy tightening for the year.

On the data front, January factory orders numbers were due Tuesday morning.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury slumped, raising yields to 2.63% from Monday’s 2.59%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were up 16 cents to $59.25 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $8.90 to $1,310.40 U.S. an ounce.