TSX Lower on Health-care Weakness

CannTrust Battered

Canada's main stock index was treading water on Friday, as losses in health-care stocks led by cannabis producer CannTrust Holdings Inc. were offset by gains in the materials sector.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index dipped 21.2 points to greet noon Friday at 16,506.7

The Canadian dollar squeezed up 0.14 cents to 76.67 cents U.S.

CannTrust tumbled 49 cents, or 12.1%, the most on the TSX, to $3.55, after the company suspended sales of cannabis products. Earlier this week, the firm said Canada's health regulator found that it produced marijuana in unlicensed facilities.

The company's losses were closely followed by fellow cannabis producer Canopy Growth Co, down $3.08, or 6.4%, to $45.37.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Aritzia Inc, which jumped $1.04, or 6.4%, to $17.43, after reporting first-quarter results.

Alaris Royalty followed closely behind with a 64-cent rise, or 3.3%, to $19.98, after brokerage CIBC upgraded the company's shares to "outperform" from "neutral".

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 4.09 points midday to 576.31

The 12 Toronto subgroups were evenly divided, with consumer discretionary stocks gaining 1.3%, consumer staples up 0.4%, and consumer staples ahead 0.2%.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed heavily by health-care, sagging 3.4%, utilities, dropping 0.9%, and energy in reverse, 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Friday as investors looked to end a record-setting week on a high note after testimony from the top Federal Reserve official signaled that a rate cut was coming.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 124.06 points to 27,212.14, and hit an all-time high

The S&P 500 gained 5.88 points to 3,005.79, and also reached a record.

The NASDAQ Composite gained 30.18 points to 8,226.22

Shares of Dow, Inc. led the Dow Industrials higher, rising 3.2%. Intel climbed 1.2%, and Caterpillar, meanwhile, gained 1.7%. J.B. Hunt Transport Services was the best-performing stock in the S&P 500, jumping 5.1%, and leading a 1% gain in the industrials sector.

The major indexes were headed for slight weekly gains. Entering Friday’s session, the Dow picked up 1.1%, and S&P 500 was up 0.5%. The NASDAQ, meanwhile, was up 0.8%.

The corporate earnings season kicks off next week as major banks like J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America are scheduled to report. Estimates for the season are downbeat, however.

Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to have fallen by more than 2% in the second quarter.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell testified in front of congressional leaders this week that "crosscurrents" from weaker overseas economic activity and rising trade tensions are dampening the outlook on the U.S. economy.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury slid, raising yields to 2.13% from Thursday’s 2.10%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices acquired 15 cents to $60.35 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $3.80 to $1,409.10 U.S. an ounce.