TSX Starts Day on Right Foot

Walmart, Cisco Earnings in Focus

Stock futures pointed to a higher opening for Canada's main stock index on Thursday, boosted by rising oil prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index progressed 56.78 points to begin Thursday at 16,374.92

The Canadian dollar inched ahead 0.09 cents to 74.49 cents

The head of Europe's Airbus said it was too early to talk about acquiring a Belfast factory placed on sale by Bombardier, whose shares began the session up three cents, or 1.5%, to $2.03.

CIBC raised the target price on Boyd Group Income Fund to $187.00 from $161.00. Boyd units gained $1.64, or 1%, to $165.00.

RBC raised the target price on Yellow Pages Ltd. to $10.00 from $9.00. Yellow Pages hiked 19 cents, or 2.6%, to $7.49.

Canaccord Genuity cut the target price on Invesque to $7.50 from $8.00. Invesque gained four cents to $6.85.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada said foreign investors reduced their holdings of Canadian securities by $1.5 billion in March, the first divestment in three months. Meanwhile, Canadian investment in foreign securities totaled $1.5 billion, led by purchases of U.S. corporate bonds

Also, in March, manufacturing sales increased 2.1% to $58.0 billion, following a 0.2% decrease in February and a 0.9% gain in January. The agency said the largest gains were posted in the transportation equipment, petroleum and coal product, and primary metal industries.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange subtracted 0.34 points to 607.20

All but two of the 12 Toronto subgroups were higher in the first hour, as energy gained 1%, while information technology collected 0.9%, and industrials tallied 0.7%.

The two laggards proved to be gold, down 1.3%, and materials, off 0.6%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Wednesday as investors weigh strong earnings from Walmart and Cisco Systems against lingering trade war fears.

The Dow Jones Industrials galloped 193.81 points to start the session at 25,841.83

The S&P 500 picked up 25.84 points to 2,876.80

The NASDAQ Composite improved 68.79 points to 7,890.94

Walmart shares rose more than 3.5% after the retailer posted first-quarter earnings that topped analyst expectations. The company also said it is in a “good position ” to meet its goals for 2019 despite tough comparisons for the second quarter.

Cisco Systems also reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, sending its stock up 5.1%. The company also issued stronger-than-forecast revenue guidance.

The gains in Cisco and Walmart offset worries over the ongoing trade spat between China and the U.S. Investors had largely priced in the two countries striking a deal this month. Instead, the U.S. hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China retaliated with higher tariffs on $60 billion worth of goods.

On top of that, President Donald Trump declared on Wednesday a national emergency over threats against American technology. This move is expected to be followed by a ban on U.S. firms doing business with Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications company.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced the addition of Huawei Technologies and its affiliates to the Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List, making it more difficult for the Chinese telecom giant to conduct business with U.S. companies.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury slumped, raising yields to 2.41% from Wednesday’s 2.37%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices $1.11 to $63.13 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices docked $6.40 to $1,291.40 U.S. an ounce.