TSX Straddles Breakeven by Noon

Canfor, OrganiGram in Spotlight

Canada's main stock index poked uneasily forward by midday Thursday, as energy stocks tracked lower crude prices and data showed domestic home sales fell sequentially in June.

TSX Composite index gained 34.28 points to break for lunch Thursday at 20,181.52

The Canadian dollar dipped 0.20 cents to 79.70 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was OrganiGram Holdings, which jumped seven cents, or 2.1%, as the pot producer launched a cannabis innovators panel.

Its gains were followed by mining company Lithium Americas, which rose 17 cents, or 1%, to $17.64.

Canfor Corporation fell 64 cents, or 2.4%, the most on the TSX, to $26.33, and the second biggest decliner was oil producer MEG Energy, down 16 cents, or 1.9%, to $8.45.

On the economic slate, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported national home sales declined by 8.4% on a month-over-month basis in June. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 13.6% year-over-year.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange stumbled 7.82 points to 930.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive, with consumer staples charging ahead 1.1%, gold brighter by 0.6%, and materials stronger by 0.5%.

The four laggards were weighed most by health-care, falling 1.2%, communications, off 1.1%, and utilities, worse off by 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 dipped Thursday even as second-quarter earnings results continued to beat expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrials remained in the red 18.06 points to pause for lunch at 34,915.17

The S&P 500 slipped 17.81 points to 4,356.49

The NASDAQ plummeted 116.95 points to 14,528.01.

The slight pullback in the S&P 500 came as the index hovered near its record high. The S&P 500 is already up 16% this year in anticipation of a big profit comeback.

Morgan Stanley’s second-quarter earnings report topped analysts’ expectations Thursday morning. Shares of the bank were lower after the market opened, then traded higher. Morgan Stanley’s stock was up 35% this year going into the results.

On the economic beat, initial jobless claims for the week ending July 10 totaled 360,000, a new pandemic-era low, as expected by economists.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell began his second day of Congressional testimony, this time before the Senate banking panel.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys gained ground, lowering yields to 1.32% from Wednesday’s 1.35%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell 32 cents to $72.81 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices nicked 90 cents to $1,825.90 U.S. an ounce.