Futures Grow as Virus Scare Eases

Cenovus, Mainstreet in Focus

Futures for Canada's main stock index rose on Wednesday, aided by a rally in crude prices as fewer new coronavirus cases stir investor optimism that oil demand from China may begin to improve.

The TSX Composite Index held onto gains of 36.54 points to finish Tuesday at 17,777.11, though off its highs of the day.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.18 cents early Wednesday at 75.41 cents U.S.

March futures hoisted 0.2% early Wednesday.

Cenovus Energy posted a surprise loss on Wednesday as weak refining margins muted benefit from higher production and more sales in the United States.

Altacorp Capital raised the target price on Mainstreet Equity to $100 from $90

CIBC raised the target price on Martinrea International to $17.00 from $16.00

Credit Suisse raised the target price on Norbord Inc. to $45.00 from $42.00

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange improved 2.33 points to finish Tuesday at 573.12.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday morning after the S&P 500 and NASDAQ eked out fresh record closing highs in the previous session.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials vaulted 128 points, or 0.4%, early Wednesday to 29,357.

Futures for the S&P 500 gained 12.5 points, or 0.4%, at 3,370.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite jumped 46 points, on 0.5%, to 9,573.25.

Traders continue to monitor the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. As of Tuesday night, China’s National Health Commission had reported 97 additional deaths with total confirmed cases passing 44,000. However, the pace of new reported cases appears to be slowing down.

Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands, two stocks tied to coronavirus worries because of their exposure to the Chinese market, each rose more than 2% in the pre-market. Delta got lift of 1%, and American Airlines climbed 0.4%.

Corporate earnings remained in focus after Lyft reported more than $1 billion in quarterly revenue, but forecast slower growth in 2020. Lyft shares slid 5.2% in the pre-market.

CVS Health, Molson Coors, Teva Pharmaceutical and Shopify all reported quarterly results that beat analyst expectations. About 70% of S&P 500 companies have posted calendar fourth-quarter results. Of those companies, 71.1% have beaten analyst expectations.

Investors also shrugged off Sen. Bernie Sanders’ victory in the New Hampshire Democratic primary

Overseas, in Japan, markets returned from holiday, as the Nikkei 225 gained 0.7%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index added 1.3%,

Oil prices leaped 94 cents to $50.88 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices hesitated two dollars to $1,568.10 U.S. an ounce.