TSX Positive by Noon

Nuvista, Cargojet in Focus

Canada's main stock index found its way into positive territory late morning on Friday as gold and metals stocks made up partially for a fall in energy shares, tracking declines in oil prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite squeezed higher 5.36 points to greet noon at 16,258.82

The Canadian dollar was up 0.07 cents to 75.28 cents U.S.

Biggest decliners on TSX were shares of energy companies, Nuvista Energy, heading south 11 cents, or 6.7%, to $1.54, and Peyto Exploration Development, which fell 14 cents, or 4.2%, to $3.22.

Industrials other than Cargojet got bruised, most notably, Bombardier, which lost a nickel, or 2.9%, to $1.67, and Air Canada, flying lower 55 cents to $43.55.

Consumer discretionary stocks also had their troubles, as Canada Goose Holdings lost $1.81, or 3.4%, to $50.80, while Linamar erased 67 cents, or 1.7%, to $40.05.

Gold stocks tried to balance things out, as Yamana Gold sprinted 29 cents, or 6.6%, to $4.68, while OceanaGold gained 21 cents, or 7.1%, to $3.17.

Elsewhere in mining, First Majestic Silver leaped 89 cents, or 6.5%, to $14.61.

Analysts say Canadian house prices will be flat this year, but will pick up in 2020, driven by lower mortgage rates and solid domestic economic conditions.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada said retail sales were essentially unchanged in June. Stronger sales across most sub-sectors were offset by lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations. Excluding sales in these two sub-sectors, monthly retail sales advanced 1.7%

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.45 points to 580.55

All but three of the 12 Toronto subgroups were lower midday, with energy fading 1.7%, industrials off 0.8%, and consumer discretionary stocks slipping 0.6%.

The three gainers were gold, popping 2.8%, materials, up 1.9%, and information technology, better by 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell to their lows of the day on Friday after President Donald Trump ordered in a series tweets that U.S. companies find alternatives to their operations in China. Apple led the way lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 371.20 points, or 1.4%, by noon hour ET, to 25,881.04

The S&P 500 surrendered 45.33 points, or 1.5%, to 2,877.62

The NASDAQ dumped 145.18 points, or 1.8%, to 7,846.24

Apple shares dropped 3.2%. Elsewhere, Nvidia and Broadcom both fell more than 4%. Caterpillar shares, meanwhile, pulled back 2.9%.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivered a speech from an annual central banking symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

In it, he said the Fed will do what it can to sustain the current economic expansion. "Our challenge now is to do what monetary policy can do to sustain the expansion so that the benefits of the strong jobs market extend to more of those still left behind, and so that inflation is centered firmly around 2%."

Trump tweeted on Friday: "Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing..your companies HOME and making your products in the USA."

China will implement new tariffs on another $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, including autos. The tariffs will range between 5% and 10% and will be implemented in two batches on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15.

This is the latest escalation in the trade war that has been going on since last year. Earlier this month, Trump said the U.S. will impose tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports. The administration then said some of those tariffs would be delayed.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained sharply, lowering yields to 1.54% from Thursday’s 1.62%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices withered $1.55 to $53.80 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices picked up $27.40 to $1,535.90 U.S. an ounce.