Stocks Virtually Unchanged at Open

Alaris, Parkland in Focus

Equities in Toronto opened flat on Friday, as gains in materials stocks were offset by losses in health-care stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index dipped 5.33 points to open the week’s final session at 16,522.57

The Canadian dollar squeezed up 0.1 cents to 76.62 cents U.S.

CannTrust Holdings said it suspended sales of cannabis products after the federal health regulator found the company sold marijuana produced in unlicensed facilities.

CannTrust dumped 36 cents, or 8.9%, to $3.68.

CIBC raised the rating on Alaris Royalty to outperform from neutral.

Shares in Alaris vaulted 81 cents, or 4.2%, to $20.15.

CIBC raised the target price on Parkland Fuel to $49.0 from $48.00. Parkland shares. Parkland shares gained 68 cents, or 1.6%, to $43.79.

National Bank of Canada cut the rating on Theratechnologies to sector perform. Theratechnologies shares dipped 43 cents, or 7%, to $5.76.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange slid 0.75 points in the first hour to 579.65

The 12 Toronto subgroups were evenly divided, with consumer discretionary stocks gaining 0.6%, consumer staples up 0.3%, and real-estate ahead 0.2%.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed heavily by health-care, sagging 2%, utilities, dropping 0.7%, and information technology, 0.5% to the bad.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Friday as investors ended a record-setting week on a high note after testimony from the top Federal Reserve official signaled that a rate cut was coming.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 134.26 points to 27,222.34, and hit an all-time high

The S&P 500 gained 4.55 points to 3,004.46, and also reached a record.

The NASDAQ Composite regained 15.94 points to 8,211.99

The major indexes were headed for slight weekly gains. Entering Friday’s session, the Dow picked up 0.6%, and S&P 500 was up 0.4%, respectively. The NASDAQ, meanwhile, was up 0.3%.

The corporate earnings season kicks off next week as major banks like J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America are scheduled to report. Estimates for the season are downbeat, however.

Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to have fallen by more than 2% in the second quarter.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell testified in front of congressional leaders this week that "crosscurrents" from weaker overseas economic activity and rising trade tensions are dampening the outlook on the U.S. economy.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury slid, raising yields to 2.13% from Thursday’s 2.10%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices reacquired 17 cents to $60.37 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $2.40 to $1,409.10 U.S. an ounce.