TSX With Small Gains Friday

Kirkland Lake Gold, Ballard in Focus

Canada's main stock index extended its rise on Friday after hitting a record high a day earlier as gold prices advanced, and was set to gain for a third straight week.

The TSX fell 0.95 points to open the week’s last session at 19,320.97.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.2 cents to 79.91 cents U.S.

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. AutoCanada shares improved $1.08, or 2.7%, to $40.95.

CIBC raised the target price on Cascades to outperformer from
neutral. Cascades shares grabbed 93 cents, or 6.5%, to $15.34.

TD Securities raised the rating on Kirkland Lake Gold to action list buy from buy. Kirkland Lake Gold took on 50 cents, or 1.1%, to $47.20.

Meantime, Ballard Power Systems rose 37 cents, or 3.1%, to $26.66.

Lghtspeed POSfell $3.92, or 4.4%, the most on the TSX, to $85.00, while the second biggest decliner was goeasy, down $3.46, or 2.5% to $133.99.

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.

Elsewhere 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.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange edged up 1.29 points to 940.11.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive, with gold brightening 0.5%, consumer staples better by 0.4%, and materials stronger by 0.3%.

The five laggards were weighed most by health-care, down 0.7%, while energy and information technology each dropped 0.6%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks rose again on Friday as the market’s record run carried on amid strong earnings from blue-chip companies as well as solid data signaling a snapback in the economy.

The Dow Jones Industrials captured 156.56 points to open Friday at 34,192.55,

The S&P 500 added 9.78 points to 4,180.20, to hit a fresh high.

The NASDAQ Composite ditched 21.24 points, to 14,038.76.

The last of the six largest U.S. banks – Morgan Stanley — reported stronger-than-expected earnings, bolstered by strong trading and investment banking results. Shares of the bank rose 0.3%.

PNC Financial gained more than 2% after the bank beat estimates on the top and bottom lines for its first-quarter report.

Wall Street is poised to wrap up another winning week. The S&P 500 has gained 1.3% this week, on pace for its fourth straight positive week. The Dow has climbed 1%, while the NASDAQ is up 0.9%.

Investor sentiment was boosted by a slew of economic data this week that pointed to a rebound in consumer spending, sentiment and the jobs market.

The University of Michigan said Friday its preliminary consumer sentiment index rose to a one-year high of 86.5 in the first half of this month from 84.9 in March.

Retail sales jumped 9.8% in March as additional stimulus sent consumer spending soaring, topping the Dow Jones estimate of a 6.1% gain.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Labor Department reported 576,000 first-time filings for unemployment insurance for the week ended April 10, reaching the lowest level since March 2020.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys leaned a bit lower, raising yields to 1.58% from Thursday’s 1.57%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell 49 cents to $62.97 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices swelled $12.70 to $1,779.50 U.S. an ounce.