TSX Flat as Energy, Health-Care Stumble

Interfor, IGM in Vogue

Canada's main stock index was little changed on Monday, as hopes of progress in resolving U.S.-China trade dispute was offset by a drop in energy shares.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index started the day and the week up 0.37 points to 15,633.70

The Canadian dollar ducked 0.05 cents to 75.34 cents U.S.

Morgan Stanley said on Monday it would buy Canadian employee stock plans manager Solium Capital for $900 million.

J.P. Morgan raised the price target on BCE to $62.00 from $59.00. BCE shares gained 11 cents to $57.45.

CIBC raised the price target on IGM Financial to $41.00 from $39.00. IGM shares progressed 83 cents, or 2.5%, to $33.93.

RBC raised the price target on Interfor to $21 from $20. Interfor shares acquired eight cents to $16.75.

Canada Goose Holdings, which rose 85 cents, or 1.1%, to $75.41, was among the biggest gainers.

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc fell $1.38, or 3.8%, to $35.33, the most on the TSX, after the construction and engineering firm cut its full-year profit forecast due to mining dispute in Latin America.

Another big decliner was Seven Generations Energy Ltd, down 20 cents, or 2%, to $10.02.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange recovered 0.2 points at the start of trading to 612.14

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups started out positive Monday morning, with information technology taller by 1%, consumer discretionary forging ahead 0.7%, and industrials stronger by 0.5%.

The four laggards were weighed most by health-care, skidding 1.7%, energy, flagging 1.1%, and gold, duller in price by 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks opened higher on Monday amid increasing hope China and the U.S. will strike a trade deal to end the ongoing tariff war.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average faded 4.34 points to 25,101.99, though Visa and Nike outperformed.

The S&P 500 gained 3.67 points to 2,711.55, as the industrials and tech sectors rose.

The NASDAQ Composite took on 21.1 points to 7,319.29.

Shares of Boeing picked up 0.9%, and Deere gained 0.5%. The two are global-trade bellwethers
Caterpillar shares also rose 0.6%.

Tesla shares gained more than 2% after an analyst at Canaccord Genuity upgraded them to buy from hold. The analyst also hiked his price target to $450 a share from $330, implying a 47% upside over the next 12 months.

Axios reported on Sunday, citing two administration officials, that President Donald Trump's advisors have informally discussed holding a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month at the Mar-a-Lago, Trump's private club in Florida. This meeting could take place as soon as mid-March, the report said. However, the officials cited in the story added that nothing has yet been set.

That report comes after Trump said last week that a meeting between him and Xi would not happen before an early March deadline. If a trade deal is not reached before the deadline, additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will take effect. That deadline could be moved, however, according to reports.

The trade negotiations come amid slowing economic data out of China. Spending growth in China's Lunar New Year fell to its lowest since 2005. Last month, the Chinese government revealed the country's economy grew at its slowest pace in 28 years.


Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury lost ground, boosting yields to 2.66% from Friday’s 2.64%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices retreated 86 cents to $51.86 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices docked $8.30 to $1,311.20 U.S. an ounce.