Solid Start for TSX Friday

CN-Kansas City Southern Deal at Centre Stage

Stocks flew off the shelves in the first hour of trade on Friday, with renewed strength in energy stocks the chief agent.

The TSX gained 115.96 points to open the week’s final session at 19,251.77,

The Canadian dollar picked up 0.6 cents at 82.73 cents U.S.

U.S. railway operator Kansas City Southern said that it had accepted Canadian National Railway $33.6-billion acquisition offer, upending a $29-billion deal with its competitor Canadian Pacific Railway.

CN shares dumped $4.89, or 3.6%, to $130.19, while those for rival CP gained 74 cents to $98.19.

Aurora Cannabis said it would move its U.S. stock listing to the NASDAQ due to the exchange's "cost-effectiveness," following similar moves by rivals last year.

MKM Partners cuts target price on Aurora to $6.00 from $9.00. Aurora shares dropped 44 cents, or 4.9%, to $8.49.

BMO raised the target price on Home Capital Group to $40.00 from $36.00. Home shares ditched nine cents to $36.04.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were SNC Lavalin, which jumped 11.5% after strong quarterly results. SNC shares ballooned $4.15, or 15%, to $31.89.

AcuityAds Holdings was the second largest percentage gainer, rising 6.4%. AcuityAds shares galloped 88 cents, or 8.6%, to $11.12.

Shares in Aritzia were down $1.30, or 4.2%, to $29.68.

Friday’s macroeconomic calendar features wholesale trade and manufacturing figures for March.

Manufacturing sales bounced back in March, rising 3.5% to $57.8 billion, following a 1.1% decline in February. Gains were widespread across all major industries.

Sales by Canadian wholesalers rose 2.8% in March, the second increase in three months. The growth in March was due to increases in the building material and supplies sub-sector and the miscellaneous sub-sector.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange recaptured 14.12 points, or 1.6%, to kick off Friday at 907.47.

All but two of the 12 subgroups were positive in the first hour, with energy stocks gushing 2.3%, gold shining 1.1% brighter, and materials stronger 0.9%.

The two laggards were industrials and information technology, each off but 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks jumped on Friday, rebounding for a second day led by technology shares and reopening trades after Wall Street started the week with big losses.

The Dow Jones Industrials soared 280.2 points to 34,301.65.

The S&P 500 gained 46.33 points, or 1.1%, to 4,158.83.

The NASDAQ jumped 206.85 points, or 1.6%, to 13,331.83.

Stocks advanced even after data showed consumer purchases slowed down last month. Advance retail sales was flat for April, the Commerce Department reported Friday. That compared to the Dow Jones estimate of a 0.8% gain and a 9.8% surge in March.

The Dow and the S&P 500 are down more than 1% each for the week, while tech stocks have been hit especially hard, pulling the NASDAQ down over 3% for the week.

Tech stocks were the biggest outperformers Friday. Tesla gained 1.2%. Twitter was also up more than 1%. Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet were all trading in the green.

Disney shares were bucking the trend, falling 4.5% after posting weaker-than-expected revenue and streaming subscribers.

Stocks most exposed to the ongoing recovery jumped again Friday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased guidelines saying that in most settings fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

United Airlines and American Airlines both climbed more than 4%. Carnival shares popped 6%, while Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean advanced more than 5% each.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys moved higher, thus lowering yields to 1.64% from Thursday’s 1.66%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained $1.17 to $64.99 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $15.30 to $1,839.30 U.S. an ounce.