Stocks Dip at Outset

Agnico Eagle, Pretium in Focus

Equities in Canada’s largest centre opened slightly lower on Friday, with energy shares leading gains, while upbeat domestic wholesale trade data for May further bolstered sentiment.

TSX Composite index dropped 31.8 points to commence the week’s last session at 20,151.92

The Canadian dollar inched lower 0.02 cents to 79.40 cents U.S.

Canaccord Genuity raises the target price on Agnico Eagle Mines to $92.00 from $90.00. Agnico Eagle shares lost $1.34, or 1.7%, to $77.54.

Canaccord Genuity cut the rating on Franco-Nevada Corp to hold from buy. Franco-Nevada shares stumbled $4.09, or 2.1%, to $188.67.

Canaccord Genuity raises the rating on Pretium Resources to buy from hold. Pretium shares tumbled 25 cents, or 2.1%, to $11.69.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada said foreigners acquired $20.8 billion in Canadian securities in May, mainly in the form of government debt securities. At the same time, Canadian investors increased their holdings of foreign securities by $10.7 billion, led by acquisitions of U.S. shares.

Moreover, the agency said sales of wholesale products rose 0.5% in May to $72.2 billion, setting a record high for the sector for a third consecutive month.

Finally, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported that housing starts totalled 293,567 units in June, up from 284,837 units in May.

Canada may permit fully vaccinated travelers into the country by early September, the country's prime minister said on Thursday, if the current trend in vaccination rate and public health conditions continue.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada and Quebec are ready to spend a combined $693 million on aerospace projects that cut carbon emissions.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange moved lower 5.73 points to 922.80.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups trudged lower, with health-care sicker by 1.6%, materials down 1.3%, and energy off 1.2%.

The four gainers were led by consumer staples, heading higher 1%, while utilities gathered 0.8%, and real-estate improved 0.7%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average drifted lower Friday even as the latest retail sales numbers came out better-than-expected.

The 30-stock index dropped 124.78 points to begin the week’s last session at 34,862.24

The S&P 500 slipped 12.24 points to 4,347.79

The NASDAQ let go of 26.03 points to 14,517.10.

Weaker performance from technology stocks weighed on the market. Shares of Netflix fell more than 1% ahead of the streaming giant’s second-quarter earnings report next week. Nvidia shares fell about 2%.

Retail and food service sales rose 0.6% in June, while economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected a 0.4% decline. Excluding autos, those sales jumped 1.3%, beating economists’ estimate of a 0.4% gain.

Investors also digested strong earnings results from the first major week of second-quarter reports. Though some of the nation’s largest companies posted healthy profits and revenues amid the economic recovery, the reaction in the stock market has so far been muted.

Morgan Stanley’s second-quarter earnings report, for example, topped analysts’ expectations Thursday, yet its shares closed just 0.18% higher.

For 18 S&P 500 companies that beat analyst estimates for second-quarter earnings this week, the average earnings-per-share result was 18% higher than expected. But those companies saw their shares fall 0.58% on average after reporting.

The soft moves in reaction to corporate earnings have contributed to a lackluster week for the S&P 500, which dipped 0.2% on the week as of Thursday’s close. However, the broad index is up about 16% this year.

Much of the market’s upward pressure over the last week has come from a handful of mega-cap internet and communications stocks. Apple, Netflix, Google-parent Alphabet and Microsoft are all up this week.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys were unchanged, keeping yields at Thursday’s 1.30%

Oil prices fell $1.14 to $70.51 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slid $13.00 to $1,816.00 U.S. an ounce.