Stocks Stay Positive by Noon

Hudbay, CannTrust in Vogue

Canada's main stock index rose on Friday, buoyed by rising bets of a U.S. interest rate cut this month and gains in energy stocks due to higher crude prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index held onto 17.64 points in gains to greet noon at 16,511.87

The Canadian dollar retreated 0.19 cents to 76.47 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Hudbay Minerals, up 42 cents, or 6.3%, to $7.13, and First Quantum Minerals, up 81 cents, or 6.5% to $13.33.

Among decliners, cannabis company CannTrust Holdings Inc dropped 17 cents, or 4.4%, the most on the TSX, to $3.67, followed by Turquoise Hill Resources, which fell three cents, or 3.5%, to 83 cents.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported retail sales for May skidded for the first time in four months, edging down 0.1% to $51.5 billion in May. Excluding sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations, retail sales decreased 1.0%.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange added 3.51 points to 591.54

Seven of the 12 Toronto subgroups had faded into the red, as gold retreated 0.9%, while industrials and communications ditched 0.3% each.

The four gaining groups were led by information technology, picking up 0.6%, consumer discretionary stocks, up 0.5%, and materials, better by 0.4%.

Consumer staples were unchanged by noon hour.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Friday as Wall Street cheered a strong quarterly report from Microsoft sent the stock to an all-time high

The Dow Jones Industrial Average remained buoyant 31.36 points to 27,254.33,

The S&P 500 shed 2.87 points to 2,992.24

The NASDAQ Composite skidded 9.48 points to 8,197.76

Microsoft shares rose 1.7% after the company dubbed “Mr. Softee” posted quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analyst expectations. The company’s results were driven by a 39% year-over-year surge in cloud revenue.

American Express, another Dow component, also reported better-than-expected earnings. However, the company’s stock slipped 2%.

More than 15% of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings thus far. Of those companies, 79% have posted a better-than-expected profit

Stocks eked out small gains in the previous session after New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said the central bank needed to "act quickly" when the economy was slowing and rates were low, adding in a speech that it is "better to take preventative measures than wait for disaster to unfold."

However, a spokesperson for the New York Fed moved to cool the speculation arising from Williams’ comments, telling the media that he was drawing from academic research, not hinting at potential policy actions at the upcoming Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury lost ground, boosting yields to 2.04% from Thursday’s 2.03%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices settled 21 cents at $55.09 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices moved forward by a dollar to $1,429.10 U.S. an ounce.