TSX Holds onto Gains by Noon

Barrick, HUT 8 in Focus

Canada's main stock index gained on Thursday, led by financials and industrial stocks, in a holiday-shortened week that saw the Bank of Canada raise rates to tame inflation.

The TSX Composite Index gained 25.14 points to approach noon of the week’s last session at 21,863.16. Markets throughout North America are shuttered Friday for Good Friday.

The Canadian dollar lost 0.33 cents to 79.24 cents U.S.

Barrick Gold fell 62 cents, or 1.9%, to $31.52, after the miner said its first-quarter production fell 17.7% from the previous three months, hurt by lower output at its Carlin and Cortez mines in Nevada.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Baytex Energy, which jumped 43 cents, or 7.4%, to $6.26, followed by Brookfield Business Partners, which rose $1.12, or 3.1% to $36.87.

Hut 8 Mining fell 29 cents, or 5%, the most on the TSX, to $5.57. The second biggest decliner was Canopy Growth, down 30 cents, or 3.4%, to $8.63.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Royal Bank, up 94 cents to $137.34, and Talon Metals, up a penny, or 1.4%, to 75 cents.

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada reported manufacturing sales improved 4.2% in February, mainly on higher sales of motor vehicle, food, and petroleum products.

Wholesale trade fell 0.4% in February to $78.8 billion, the first decline since last July.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange shaved off 3.55 points to 888.96.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower Thursday, with health-care subsiding 1.8%, information technology sliding 1.4%, and gold, off 0.8%.

The four gainers were led by communications, ahead 0.6%, while financials and industrials each rose 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 declined Thursday, on track for a losing week as investors digested mixed earnings results from major banks and high U.S. inflation reports.

The Dow Jones Industrials was down from its highs of the morning, still gaining 33.26 points to 34,597.85.

The S&P 500 slumped 25.85 points to 4,420.74

The NASDAQ Composite slid 181.5 points, or 1.3%, to 13,462.09.

The S&P 500 is down 1.2% for the week on inflation fears as a Tuesday CPI report showed price increases not seen since 1981. The NASDAQ Composite is off by 1.4% and the Dow is about flat for the week. Trading is closed at the NYSE on Friday.

The NASDAQ Composite is off by 0.5% and the Dow is down 0.5% on the week. Trading is closed at the NYSE on Friday.

Those moves come as major banks including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo posted their first-quarter earnings on Thursday. Investors are watching how the banks navigated surging inflation and a recession warning from the bond market in the form of a flattening yield curve, as earnings season goes into full swing next week.

Goldman Sachs’ stock price climbed 1% after beating first-quarter earnings expectations. Goldman reported $10.76 earnings per share and $12.93 billion revenues. Analysts polled by Refinitiv were expecting earnings per share of $8.89 and revenues of $11.83 billion.

Shares for Morgan Stanley popped more than 2% after the bank reported an earnings beat. The firm earned $2.02 per share and revenues of $14.8 billion. In comparison, Morgan Stanley was expected to report $1.68 a share and revenues of $14.2 billion, according to consensus estimates from Refinitiv.

Shares for Citigroup jumped 3% after the company topped earnings estimates with better-than-expected trading revenue. The firm reported earnings of $2.02 per diluted share, versus the Refinitiv estimate of $1.55 a share. It also gained $19.19 billion, compared to the Refinitiv estimate of $18.15 billion.

On the other hand, shares for Wells Fargo dropped 2% Thursday after the bank posted first-quarter revenue that fell short of analyst estimates and said credit losses were likely to increase.

Seven Dow blue chips report earnings next week, including IBM, Procter and Gamble, Travelers, Dow, Johnson and Johnson, American Express and Verizon. Netflix reports Tuesday and Tesla reports Wednesday, both after the bell.

Banks will continue to roll in with Bank of America and Bank of NY Mellon both reporting Monday. Transportation companies will also release their numbers, including trucking firms Knight-Swift and J.B. Hunt. United Airlines, American Airlines and Alaska Air Group are also on the calendar as are railroads CSX and Union Pacific.

Twitter shares popped 3% after Elon Musk offered to buy the social media company for $54.20 a share. Musk said this was his best and final offer for Twitter, which he said needs to be transformed privately in order to thrive.

IBM shares gained nearly 3% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the old technology company, saying it was a “place to hide” amid growing economic uncertainty because of its resilient cybersecurity and analytics business.

JPMorgan shares lost more than 3% on Wednesday, kicking off major bank earnings this week after the company posted a $902 million charge for building credit reserves for anticipated loan losses, and $524 million in losses tied to Russia-linked market upheaval.

Still, there was some good news for JPMorgan. The company’s trading desks managed to take advantage of volatile markets created by the Ukraine conflict: The bank’s fixed income and equities operations posted about $1.3 billion more in revenue than analysts had expected.

Retail sales figures for March slightly missed analyst expectations with a 0.5% gain, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
That’s compared to the 0.6% consensus estimate from Dow Jones.

Jobless claims jumped 185,000 for the week ending April 9, according to data from the U.S. Labor Department.

Treasury prices gained ground, putting yields back down to 2.80%, from Wednesday’s 2.73%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices slid 97 cents to $103.28 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dropped $17.80 to $1,966.90 U.S. an ounce.