Stocks Finish Marginally Higher

Alacer, First Majestic in Focus

Equities in Canada’s largest centre finished tentatively in the green on Thursday, largely on the strength of gold issues.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index poked ahead 10.02 points to close Thursday at 16,494.23

The Canadian dollar moved upward 0.11 cents to 76.72 cents U.S.

Alacer Gold gained 29 cents, or 6.1%, to $5.07, while Barrick Gold jumped 63 cents, or 2.9%, to $22.46.

In materials, First Majestic Silver climbed 78 cents, or 6.4%, to $12.94, while SSR Mining popped $1.07, or 5.5%, to $20.49

Among tech firms, Shopify surged $5.80, or 1.4%, to $430.45, while Enghouse Systems zoomed 45 cents, or 1.3%, to $35.11.

Health-care firms took it on the chin, however, as Aurora Cannabis foundered 61 cents, or 6.3%, to $9.07, while HEXO Corp. fell 16 cents, or 2.4%, to $6.50.

Energy stocks went backwards as well, as Vermilion Energy retreated $1.42, or 5.2%, to $26.17. Nuvista Energy lost 11 cents, or 4.2%, to $2.52.

Among consumer discretionary, The Stars Group moved backward 88 cents, or 4.1%, to $20.78, while BRP Inc. stepped back $1.80, or 3.7%, to $47.00

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported 441,300 people received regular Employment Insurance benefits in May, similar to the previous month.

Lower numbers in Alberta, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island were offset by increases in Quebec and Ontario.


The TSX Venture Exchange budged into the green 0.84 points to 588.03

Seven of the 12 Toronto subgroups were positive on the day. Gold sprinted 3.2%, while materials jumped 1.9%, and information technology advanced 0.7%.

The five laggards were weighed most by health-care, slumping 1.9%, energy, slouching 1.7%, and consumer discretionary, behind Wednesday’s close by 0.8%


Stocks rose on Thursday after comments from a top Federal Reserve led to increasing bets that the central bank will ease monetary policy more aggressively.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked up 3.12 points to 27,222.97

The S&P 500 recovered 10.69 points to 2,995.11, led by a 0.8% gain in consumer staples.

The NASDAQ Composite regained 22.04 points to 8,207.24

The gains were the first for the indexes in three sessions.

The indexes turned around in the afternoon came after New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said the central bank needed to "act quickly" when the economy was slowing and rates were low.

"It’s better to take preventative measures than to wait for disaster to unfold," he said in a speech.

After Williams’ comments, traders increased their bets that the Fed could go deeper than a quarter-point cut at its meeting in late July.

Netflix shares plunged 10% after the streaming giant reported a surprise loss in U.S. subscribers coupled with slower-than-expected international membership growth. Those metrics — which are key for Netflix — offset better-than-expected earnings per share for the previous quarter.

IBM shares, meanwhile, briefly fell at the open before recovering after the company reported its fourth consecutive revenue decline. Declining sales from IBM’s IT division offset growth in its cloud business.

Morgan Stanley posted better-than-expected quarterly results, driven by its wealth management and fund divisions. The stock rose 0.5%.

So far, more than 12% of S&P 500 companies have reported quarterly results this earnings season. Of those companies, nearly 84% have reported better-than-expected earnings

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury regained lost ground, lowering yields to 2.03% from Wednesday’s 2.05%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices lost $1.16 at $55.62 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices climbed $24.00 to $1,447.30 U.S. an ounce.