Equities Hold Own by Noon

Alacer, Bombardier in Focus

Canada's main stock index edged higher on Monday, ahead of a key U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting that could determine the path of future interest rate cuts.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index had gained 30.21 points to greet noon at 16,332.12

The Canadian dollar doffed 0.45 cents to 74.59 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Alacer Gold, with a rise of 30 cents, or 7.5%, to $4.32, which was followed by a gain of 10 cents, or 4.6%, for Bombardier Inc, to $2.28.

CIBC cut the rating on Hexo Corp. to neutral from outperform. Hexo shares docked five cents to $7.47.

Fortuna Silver Mines fell six cents, or 1.8%, the most on the TSX, to $3.29, and the second biggest decliner was Uni-Select, down 25 cents, or 2%, to $12.32.

JP Morgan raised the rating on Gibson Energy to overweight from neutral. Gibson shares hiked 20 cents to $23.10.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported that foreign investors reduced their holdings of Canadian securities by $12.8 billion in April, mainly in the form of equities.

At the same time, Canadian investors marginally reduced their holdings of foreign securities.

As a result, international transactions in securities generated a net outflow of funds of $12.6 billion from the Canadian economy in April.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange backed off 1.83 points to 586.01

All but two of the 12 Toronto subgroups remained in the green, as energy gushed 1%, health-care concerns were haler by 0.8%, and consumer discretionary stocks were up 0.6%.

The two laggards were communications, fading 0.6%, and utilities, doffing 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose slightly on Monday as investors looked ahead to a crucial Federal Reserve meeting this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average retained 57.9 to pause for lunch at 26,147.51.

The S&P 500 eked ahead 4.64 points at 2,891.58

The NASDAQ Composite 48.24 points to 7,844.90, as tech shares gained.

Facebook acquired 2.6%, and Netflix climbed 3.1%, while Amazon advanced 1%. Alphabet and Apple both traded nearly 1% higher.

Disney shares slipped 0.6% after an analyst at Imperial Capital downgraded the stock to in-line from outperform, citing a “record ” valuation.

Shares of auction house Sotheby’s shot up nearly 60% on news it will be bought for $3.7 billion by BidFair USA. Array BioPharma shares also surged nearly 60% after the company was acquired by Pfizer for $10.6 billion.

Equities posted slight gains last week, adding to this month’s strong rally. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ were both up more than 4% in June entering Monday’s session while the Dow was up 5.1%.

The Fed is scheduled to start a two-day monetary policy meeting on Tuesday. Expectations for any policy changes are low, but investors will look for clues about potential rate cuts in July and later in 2019.

Investors are betting on the Fed cutting rates in July and September as well as December. The market has been clamoring for lower rates amid indications of potentially slower economic growth. In theory, lower rates would boost economic growth.

The Fed will make its monetary-policy announcement on Wednesday. Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to hold a news conference after the announcement.

Worries over the economy have increased recently after jobs growth and manufacturing activity slowed last month. The U.S. economy is expected to grow by 2.1% in the second quarter

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained back lost ground, dropping yields back to Friday’s 2.08%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices slipped 22 cents to $52.29 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices listed lower 10 cents at $1,344.40 U.S. an ounce.