TSX Still in Green

CannTrust Still Being Bruised

Canada's main stock index managed to hold onto early gains by midday Tuesday, as energy stocks overcame losses in health-care issues.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index stayed positive 51.86 points to greet noon at 16,514.81

The Canadian dollar slipped 0.14 cents to 76.21 cents U.S.

The biggest percentage gainers on the TSX were Richelieu Hardware, which jumped 39 cents, or 1.6%, to $24.83, followed by shares of Genworth MI Canada, which rose $1.30, or 3%, to $44.38.

Canntrust Holdings fell 27 cents, or 5.4%, to $4.73, followed by shares of First Quantum Minerals, down 79 cents, or 6.8%, to $10.76.

Economically speaking, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said the seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of housing starts rose to 245,657 units from a revised 196,809 units in May. Economists had projected starts to rise to 210,000.

Elsewhere, Statistics Canada said, following a record $9.5 billion in April, the value of permits issued by Canadian municipalities declined 13.0% to $8.2 billion in May, largely due to a drop in British Columbia. Excluding B.C., the national value of permits rose 3.2%.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange retreated 0.87 points to 587.16

Seven of the 12 Toronto subgroups had made gains by noon hour, as energy gushed 1.3%, information technology clicked 1.1%, and gold shone brighter by 0.6%.

The five laggards were weighed most by health-care, ailing 0.5%, materials, weaker by 0.3%, and industrials, dawdling 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Indices south of the border continued to nudge lower by Tuesday noon hour ET, as investors awaited more clues on the Federal Reserve’s next monetary policy move.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average stayed negative 89.9 points to 26,716.24, headed for a third straight day of losses.

The S&P 500 dropped 1.46 points to 2,974.49

The NASDAQ Composite hiked 26.67 points to 8,125.67, amid solid gains in Netflix shares.

Shares of 3M pressured the indexes. The stock fell more than 2% after an analyst at RBC Capital Markets downgraded it to sector perform from outperform amid worries over the macro economic environment and overhang from litigation.

Netflix shares rose more than 1.5% after the streaming company said the third season of "Stranger Things" posted a viewership record.
PepsiCo shares rose 1% after reporting better-than-expected earnings. Levi Strauss is scheduled to report quarterly numbers after the bell.

The corporate earnings season ramps up next week as major banks like Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo scheduled to report quarterly results. Investors will anxiously look through the reports for evidence on how corporations are coping with the current economic and trade environment.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to testify in front of the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. This comes just after a stronger-than-expected jobs report raised questions about the central bank’s rate policy.

Investors will be looking for clues on whether the Fed will cut rates later this month, as it is widely expected, or if the central bank thinks the economy is strong enough to maintain current economic policy.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury recovered lost ground, weighing yields back to Monday’s 2.05%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices picked up 17 cents to $57.83 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dropped a dollar to $1,399.00 U.S. an ounce.