Stocks Tread Water on Trade Developments

Barrick, Bombardier in Focus

Futures for Canada’s main stock index were steady on Wednesday, as investors awaited more clarity on U.S.-China trade developments.

The TSX Composite Index gained 12.11 points to conclude Tuesday at 16,681.92

The Canadian dollar docked 0.06 cents to 75.96 cents U.S. early Wednesday

December futures nosed up 0.01% early Wednesday.

Barrick Gold’s quarterly adjusted profit nearly tripled, as the world’s second-largest gold producer benefited from higher gold output and prices.

Bombardier said it had alleviated technical problems that have held up deliveries of trains to Swiss Federal Railways as the Canadian plane-and-train-maker aims to complete the long-delayed contract by mid-2021.

Waste management company GFL Environmental said on Tuesday it will cancel its initial public offering, with no immediate plans to revisit the markets, after institutional investors pressed the Canadian firm to price its shares below the marketed range.

JPMorgan raised the rating on Air Canada to “overweight” from “neutral”

RBC raised the price target on Equitable Group to $137.00 from $120.00

Canaccord Genuity raised the price target on Gibson Energy to $28.00 from $26.00

Desjardins raised the price target on Goeasy Ltd. to $72.00 from $67.00

On the macroeconomic side, Western University’s IVEY School of Business issues its Purchasing Managers Index for October about 10 a.m. EST.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange turned red 3.04 points Tuesday at 538.66

ON WALLSTREET

Stock futures pointed to a tepid open on Wednesday as the record-setting rally took a pause.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials improved 21 points, or 0.1%, early Wednesday to 27,442.

Futures for the S&P 500 picked up two points, or 0.1%, at 3,073.75.

The NASDAQ Composite took on 6.5 points, or 0.1%, to 8,217.25.

The Dow’s year-to-date gain now stands at nearly 18% after rallying 3.4% in the past month. The S&P 500 is up more than 22% this year after surging 4.1% in the past month.

CVS Health and Humana are set to publish earnings before the bell Wednesday. Qualcomm, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Fox Corp, and Papa John’s are among those due to report after the bell.

Corporate earnings remain in focus, with data indicating that 75% of S&P 500 companies to report thus far have topped analysts’ expectations.

On the data front, industrial productivity figures and unit labor costs data for the third quarter are due out at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Investors are waiting for signals on an easing of the protracted trade dispute between the U.S. and China. The two sides are working toward a "phase one" deal, with China pushing for U.S. President Donald Trump to remove more tariffs imposed in September on around $125 billion worth of Chinese goods, according to reports.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 inched up 0.2%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index acquired just more than five points.

Oil prices fell 34 cents to $56.89 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $3.70 to $1,499.30 U.S. an ounce.