Futures Flat Friday

Markets React to Jobs Figures

Futures for equities in Canada’s largest centre fell on Friday, dragged down by weaker oil prices as record-breaking new coronavirus cases in the United States dented hopes of a recovery in fuel demand.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index finished 60.55 points lower Thursday at 15,568.64.

September futures drew back 0.1% Friday.

The Canadian dollar dipped 0.06 cents Friday to 73.55 cents U.S.

A Reuters poll says the economic recovery underway in Canada will be stronger in the near-term than expected a few months ago. Economists said a resurgence in coronavirus infections and high unemployment were the two biggest risks.

European Union antitrust regulators have set a new deadline of July 31 to rule on Alstom's bid for Bombardier's transport business after the French TGV high-speed train maker offered to sell assets to address competition concerns.

Also, Canada is preparing to dial back emergency income support for people laid off due to COVID-19 in favour of more traditional unemployment benefits and will shift resources to a wage subsidy program that encourages employers to rehire staff.

BMO raised the target price on Aritzia to $24.00 from $21.00

BMO also raised the target price on Endeavour Silver to $3.50 from $2.80

In the economic docket, Statistics Canada reported the economy gained back 953,000 jobs in June, for a 3.5% increase, with gains split between full-time work (+488,000 or +3.5%) and part-time work (+465,000 or +17.9%).

Even with consecutive increases in May and June, employment in June was still 1.8 million (or 9.2%) lower than in February, before the outbreak hit this country.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange recovered 7.16 points, or 1.1%, Thursday to 671.96.

ON WALLSTREET

Stock futures fell in pre-market trading Friday following a mixed session in which coronavirus concerns pushed investors further into tech shares.

Futures for Dow Jones Industrials dwindled 158 points, or 0.6%, early Friday, to 25,413.

Futures for the S&P 500 slumped 17.5 points, or 0.6%, at 3,123.50.

Futures for the NASDAQ backpedaled 43.5 points, or 0.4%, to 10,684.

The Dow will limp into Friday’s session with a 0.5% loss for the week. The S&P 500 pared some of its weekly gains, but is still up 0.7% in that time period. The NASDAQ, meanwhile, was on pace for its third weekly gain in four weeks.

This divergence between tech and the rest of the market came as coronavirus-related hospitalizations hit a record in Florida. In California, the state’s daily average increase of coronavirus cases rose to a record, as well.

The virus resurgence raised questions about the health of the economy moving forward, pressuring companies that would benefit from an economic recovery. Airlines such as United, Delta and American all closed lower on Thursday. Cruise operators Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line also fell.

Overseas, in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 fell 1.1% Friday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index tanked 1.8%.

Oil prices sank 60 cents to $39.02 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices improved $7.80 to $1,811.60.