Stocks Down Ahead of U.S.-China Talks

SNC in Focus amid PMO Resignation

Futures pointed to a lower opening for Canada's main stock index on Tuesday as investors turned their focus to a fresh round of trade talks between the United States and China.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index ballooned 142.26 points to end Friday and the week at 15,838.24

The Canadian dollar slipped 0.06 cents to 75.5 cents U.S. early Tuesday

March futures wilted 0.2% Tuesday.

Markets in Canada were shuttered Monday for Family Day

Gerald Butts, a top aide to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau resigned unexpectedly on Monday amid allegations Trudeau's office had pressured the former justice minister to help construction firm SNC-Lavalin Group avoid criminal prosecution.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Saturday she had made clear in a meeting with U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Munich Security Conference the importance of the U.S. lifting tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada.

A Canadian National Railway Co train derailed early on Saturday in Western Canada, leaking an undetermined volume of crude oil

CIBC cut the price target on Cineplex to $30.00 from $33.00

CIBC raised the target price on Fairfax Financial Holdings to $725.00 from $700.00

CIBC raised the price target on Toromont Industries to $70.00 from $64.00

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 7.52 points Friday to 615.92

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock futures fell on Tuesday as traders waited for new details to emerge from the latest round of U.S.-China trade talks.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 43 points, or 0.2%, at 25,845.

Futures for the S&P 500 dipped 6.5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,770.50

NASDAQ futures fell 14.5 points, or 0.2%, to 7,049.25

Stock markets in the States were shut down Monday for Presidents’ Day.

On the earnings front, WalMart reported better-than-expected quarterly results, sending the retailer's stock up more than 3% in the pre-market.

Elsewhere, traders will be on the lookout for the National Association of Home Builders housing market index on Tuesday, and are anticipating minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting and other economic data later in the week.

Market players focused their attention on trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing. The White House said Monday that a new session of discussions will take place Tuesday, with higher level talks due later in the week.

Tensions between the two nations have heightened as they attempt to strike a deal to prevent any further escalation in tariffs. The Chinese government said Monday that the U.S. is inhibiting its industrial development by claiming its mobile gear could pose a cybersecurity threat to countries rolling out 5G.

Washington has been putting particular pressure on Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, and is attempting to extradite Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou over charges she committed bank and wire fraud to violate Iran sanctions. The company's founder Ren Zhengfei — who is also Meng's father — labelled the move "politically motivated" in an interview with the BBC Monday.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 nicked ahead 0.1% Tuesday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng faded 0.4%.

Oil prices gained 57 cents to $56.16 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices jumped $12.70 to $1,334.80 U.S. an ounce.