Stocks Virtually Unchanged at Open

Banks at Centre Stage

Equities in Canada’s largest centre opened fairly on Thursday, as gains for energy companies were countered by losses in shares of precious metal miners.

The S&P/TSX Composite gained 13.29 points to begin Thursday at 16,322.52

The Canadian dollar was unchanged to 75.26 cents U.S.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce beat analysts' estimates for quarterly profit, as gains in domestic retail and U.S. commercial banking overshadowed a weak capital markets business.

CIBC shares picked up $2.38, or 2.4%, to $101.88.

RBC raised the price target on Kinder Morgan Canada to $15.00 from $14.00. Kinder Morgan shares took on 32 cents, or 2.2%, to $14.77

CIBC cut the target price on Royal Bank of Canada: to $109.00 from $110.00. RBC gained 21 cents to $100.21.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada said wholesale sales rose 0.6% to $64.1 billion in June, partly offsetting the 1.9% decline in May. The agency went on to say sales were up in four of seven sub-sectors, representing 54% of total wholesale sales.

Also, in June, 442,600 people received regular Employment Insurance benefits, a figure virtually unchanged from the previous month.

The number of EI beneficiaries in June increased in Quebec, while it decreased in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.


The TSX Venture Exchange improved 1.58 points to 577.48

Seven of 12 Toronto subgroups were lower to start out, as consumer staples clunked 1.1%, health-care sickened 1%, and information technology sagged 0.5%.

The five gainers were led by energy, up 0.7%, while financials were up 0.5%, and consumer discretionary stocks advanced 0.4%.


Stocks traded higher for a second straight day on hopes the Federal Reserve chief will confirm expectations of easier monetary policy at a central banking summit this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average continued its earlier momentum, charing ahead 81.13 points to 26,283.86,

The S&P 500 eked up 0.25 points to 2,924.68

The NASDAQ faded 18.09 points to 8,002.12

Nordstrom shares jumped more than 10% after the retailer reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analyst expectations. The company cited "inventory and expense discipline" for the strong results.

Dick’s Sporting Goods traded more than 4% higher on better-than-expected results for the previous quarter. Comparable-store sales, a key metric for retailers, topped analyst expectations. The company also raised its full-year forecast.

The results from Nordstrom and Dick’s add to a strong batch of retail earnings. On Wednesday, Target and Lowe’s surged after releasing corporate earnings results that topped estimates. Those results lifted sentiment across the market and sent the Dow up more than 200 points.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan are both set to comment on the world’s largest economy later in the day at an annual central banking symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

But the summit’s main event is set for Friday, when Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to deliver a speech that traders will parse through for clues on future monetary policy.

The Fed cut interest rates by 25 basis points in July. Experts opine market expectations for another rate cut in September are at 93.5%

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell back, raising yields to 1.60% from Wednesday’s 1.58%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices gained 16 cents to $55.84 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slid $5.50 to $1,510.20 U.S. an ounce.