Gold, Tech Shares Lead TSX Higher

CP, Turquoise Hill in Focus

Equity markets in Canada’s biggest centre rose on Wednesday as shares of precious metal miners were boosted by higher gold prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index tacked on 16.99 points to kick off the mid-week session at 16,519.41

The Canadian dollar gained back 0.01 cents to 76.53 cents U.S.

First Majestic Silver gave up earlier gains and slid 26 cents, or 2.1%, to $12.43, while Turquoise Hill Resources rose three cents, or 3.8%, to 82 cents.

West Fraser Timber fell three cents, or 2.1%, to $1.42, while SNC-Lavalin faltered 31 cents, or 1.2%, to $25.32.

RBC raised the price target on Canadian Pacific Railway to $356.00 from $342.00. CP tumbled $3.05, or 1%, to $319.20.

CIBC raised the target price on Cogeco Communications to $109.00 from $103.00. Cogeco fell 40 cents to $106.41.

CIBC cut the target price on NFI Group to $41.00 from $45.00. NFI jetted 45 cents, or 1.4%, to $32.17.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported that inflation slowed in June, as the consumer product index took on 2%, following a 2.4% increase in May.

On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, the CPI declined 0.1% in June.

What’s more, said the agency, manufacturing sales rose 1.6% to $58.9 billion in May, following a 0.4% decline in April.

The agency attributes much of the hike to higher sales in the transportation equipment industry.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange nicked higher 0.1 points to begin Wednesday at 580.27

Eight of the 12 Toronto subgroups started the day in positive territory, with information technology skyrocketing 1.2%, while health-care and gold stocks each collected 0.6%.

The four laggards were weighed most by energy, down 0.6%, industrials, off 0.3%, and consumer discretionary, sliding 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks dipped on Wednesday as the corporate earnings season rolled on with companies like Bank of America and CSX releasing their quarterly numbers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 31.1 points to begin the day at 27,304.53

The S&P 500 docked 6.51 points to 2,997.53

The NASDAQ Composite slid 8.56 points to 8,214.24

Bank of America reported better-than-expected earnings on Wednesday, driven by the strength of its retail banking operation. However, the company’s CFO warned that lower rates would hit its net interest income growth.

CSX posted Tuesday after the close weaker-than-forecast quarterly results, sending its stock down more than 8%. The company also said it expects full-year revenue to fall between 1% and 2%.

United Airlines, meanwhile, reported earnings and revenue that topped analyst expectations and increased its share buyback program by $3 billion.

Cintas shares jumped more than 8% after the First Aid kit maker’s results beat expectations.

More than 7% of S&P 500 companies have reported second-quarter earnings thus far. Of those companies, about 85% have posted profits that beat analyst expectations. The reported earnings growth of those companies is about 3.1%.

Investors came into the earnings season with a bleak outlook on corporate profits. Analysts expected S&P 500 earnings to have fallen by 3% in the second quarter

Netflix, IBM and eBay are all scheduled to report after the close on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s moves come after stocks posted slight losses in the previous session after President Donald Trump’s skeptical comments on the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.

Trump on Tuesday said the world’s two largest economies have a “long way to go” on trade, and suggested that the U.S. could impose sanctions on an additional $325 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury ducked, raising yields to 2.08% from Tuesday’s 2.11%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 35 cents at $57.97 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices improved 90 cents to $1,412.10 U.S. an ounce.