Stocks Likely to Open Flat

AutoCanada, Cascades in Focus

Futures for Canada's main stock index were muted on Friday, a session after stocks hit a record high, supported by higher oil and gold prices.

The TSX raced higher 150.26 points to close Thursday at 19,321.92.

The Canadian dollar galloped 0.29 cents Friday at 80 cents U.S.

June futures were unchanged Friday.

Stocks were set to gain for a third consecutive week on optimism around a faster economic rebound boosted by a faster pace of vaccinations and robust data around the world.

Cormark Securities raised the target price on AutoCanada to $51.50

CIBC raised the target price on Cascades to outperformer from
neutral

TD Securities raised the rating on Kirkland Lake Gold to action list buy from buy

A new Reuters survey shows the Canadian economy is likely to grow at a slower pace this quarter and next than previously expected, but tighter lockdown restrictions from another wave of coronavirus were unlikely to
derail the economic recovery.

On the economic stage, Statistics Canada reported Canadian investors acquired $10.5 billion of foreign securities in February, continuing a trend of net purchases that began in May 2020. Meanwhile, foreign investment in Canadian securities reached $8.5 billion, led by strong acquisitions of Canadian shares.

Elsewhere, sales of wholesale products fell 0.7% in February to $68.8 billion, the second decline in three months. Despite the drop, sales in February were the second highest on record for the sector.

Housing starts in March were also due Friday.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange grouped 14.16 points, or 1.5%, Thursday to 938.32.

ON WALLSTREET

Stock futures rose in early morning trading on Friday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 34,000 threshold for the first time ever.

Futures for the 30-stock index gained 90 points, or 0.3%, to 34,013.

Futures for the S&P 500 picked up 10.5 points, or 0.3%, to 4,173.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite index raced ahead 34.5 points, or 0.3%, to 14,048.50.

Wall Street is poised to wrap up another winning week. The S&P 500 has gained 1% this week, on pace for its fourth straight positive week. The Dow has climbed 0.7%, while the NASDAQ is up 1% through Thursday.

The last of the six largest U.S. banks – Morgan Stanley — reported stronger-than-expected earnings before the bell on Friday, bolstered by strong trading and investment banking results.

The first-quarter earnings season started on a high note with big banks reporting results above expectations. Morgan Stanley is set to release its earnings Friday before the bell.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 inched higher 0.1% Friday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gained 0.6%.

Oil prices nicked ahead 10 cents to $63.56 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices moved higher $16.20 to $1,783 U.S.