Futures Promise Positive Open

Cenovus, Nuvista in Focus

Futures for Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday as gold prices jumped on the back of softer Treasury yields and a weaker dollar, while crude oil levels lent support to faster economic rebound hopes.

The TSX lost 32.04 points to end Wednesday at 19,171.66.

The Canadian dollar moved higher 0.14 cents Thursday at 79.63 cents U.S.

June futures gained 0.4% Thursday.

Canada is facing industry calls to extend financial aid to smaller airlines, after offering a $5.9-billion lifeline to Air Canada, as new COVID-19 variants cast early clouds ahead of the vital summer travel season.

Scotiabank raised the rating on Cenovus Energy to outperform from sector perform.

National Bank of Canada cut the rating on Nuvista Energy to sector perform from outperform.

National Bank of Canada cut the rating on Surge Energy to sector perform from outperform

CIBC cuts the rating on Transat AT Inc. to underperformer from neutral

On the economic stage, Statistics Canada reported manufacturing sales decreased 1.6% to $55.4 billion in February, following a 3.4% increase in January. Lower sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts were largely responsible for the decline.

Elsewhere, the Canadian Real Estate Association was standing by with home sales figures for March.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 8.65 points Wednesday to 924.66.

ON WALLSTREET

Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes rose on Thursday after better-than-expected earnings results.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials hiked 137 points, or 0.4%, to 33,761.

Futures for the S&P 500 advanced 18.5 points, or 0.5%, to 4,136.50.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite index leaped 91.5 points, or 0.7%, to 13,890.25.

Bank of America shares rose as earnings last quarter blew past the Street on booming trading and investment banking results as well the release of loan-loss reserves. The shares gained 1%.

Pepsi shares added 0.6% after the consumer snack and drink maker said sales last quarter rose nearly 7%, topping estimates.

Shares of UnitedHealth, a Dow member, gained 1% after results topped the Street and the health insurer raised guidance for 2021.

Tech stocks rebounded from Tuesday losses in early trading with shares of Tesla up about 1%.

Newly public crypto exchange Coinbase jumped 9% in early trading after it was revealed Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood loaded up on the first day of trading.

The earnings season began in earnest with bank results on Wednesday, when Goldman Sachs climbed more than 2% after blowing past analysts’ expectations with record first-quarter net profits and revenues on strong performance from the firm’s equities trading and investment banking units.

JPMorgan Chase also topped forecasts on the top and bottom lines, helped by a $5.2-billion benefit from releasing money it had previously set aside for loan losses. Bank stocks have climbed across the board this year, with the S&P 500 financials sector up nearly 20% compared to the S&P 500's 9.8%.

Investors will on Thursday review the Labor Department’s latest report on the number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect the government to report that another 710,000 filed claims for the first time during the week ended April 10.

March retail sales data, also due Thursday morning, are expected show a robust uptick in consumer spending, with some economists seeing a gain of 10% or more thanks to the arrival of the $1,400 stimulus checks. The consensus forecast is more modest growth of 6.1%.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 eked up 0.1% Thursday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index declined 0.4%.

Oil prices eased back 13 cents to $63.02 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices jumped $11.00 to $1,747.30 U.S.