Stocks Crawl out of Hole by Noon

Aphria Earnings Still Weigh

Equities in Toronto came off their lows from Thursday morning, weighed by energy stocks as oil prices slumped, while Aphria’s downbeat earnings further dented sentiment.

The TSX made significant progress as the morning wore on from an initial loss of 150 points to greet noon Thursday at 16,417.29, still, down 38.11 points from Wednesday’s close.

The Canadian dollar fell 0.52 cents to 75.52 cents U.S.

Aphria, for its part, fell $1.32, or 17.1%, the most on the TSX, to $6.39, after the pot producer missed estimates for its first-quarter revenue.

The second biggest decliner was Ballard Power Systems, down 79 cents, or 3.2%, to $24.01, after the fuel-cell products developer sold its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle business assets to Honeywell International.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Aritzia, which jumped $1.67, or 8.5%, to $21.25, and Lundin Mining, which rose 19 cents, or 2.5%, to $7.85, after multiple brokerages raised the price target on both companies' stock.

On the economic slate, the Canadian Real Estate Association said home sales climbed 0.9% in September from August, raising them to a new all-time monthly record for the third month in a row.

CREA also said actual sales, not seasonally adjusted, rose 45.6% from a year earlier, while the group's Home Price Index was up 10.3% from September last year and up 1.3% from August.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange stayed in the red 6.25 points to 727.39.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower midday, with health-care tunnelling 2.8%, information technology clicking 0.9% lower, and energy off 0.8%.

The four gainers were led by communications, picking up 0.4%, financials, improving 0.2%, and real-estate, edging up 0.03%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, on pace for a third day of losses, as the outlook for a coronavirus stimulus deal remained uncertain.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average remained in the dungeon, 140.85 points to break for lunch Thursday at 28,373.15.

The S&P 500 fell 23.48 points to 3,465.19.

The NASDAQ folded 123.9 points, or 1.1%, to 11,644.83.

Third-quarter earnings are continuing to roll out. Morgan Stanley reported third quarter profit of $1.66 per share, exceeding the $1.28 estimate of analysts. It generated revenue of $11.7 billion on the back of strong trading, a billion dollars more than the estimate. Shares of Morgan Stanley advanced 1.5%.

Walgreens also posted a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, helped by higher sales at U.S. pharmacies. The drugstore chain said it expects profit to grow in single digits in 2021. Shares of Walgreens popped 3.6%.

Banking giants Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and Bank of America reported their latest quarterly results on Wednesday along with United Airlines. Goldman and Bank of America’s results topped analyst expectations. However, Wells Fargo and United fell short of estimates.

Investors are waiting for any sign a coronavirus aid deal is still possible. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the media that he and President Donald Trump are committed to getting a stimulus deal done and that while it will be hard to get one done before the election, they will keep trying.

Worse-than-expected jobless claims also weighed on sentiment. The Labor Department said Thursday 898,000 new claims were filed for jobless benefits in the prior week, higher than a Dow Jones estimate of 830,000.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were higher, weighing yields to 0.72% from Wednesday’s 0.73%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were down 67 cents at $40.37 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices moved ahead $3.30 to $1,910.60