Stocks Flat at Open

Roots in Focus

Stock markets in Canada’s largest centre were fairly static in the first hour of trading on Thursday, as housing statistics proved uneventful.

The S&P/TSX Composite inched up 3.44 points to open for business Thursday at 16,614.58

The Canadian dollar dipped 0.04 cents to 75.73 cents U.S.

Aurora Cannabis Inc pushed back its profitability timeline to fiscal 2020 on Wednesday after missing its earlier target of the fourth quarter, blaming the slow rollout of retail outlets for recreational marijuana.

Aurora shares thundered lower 69 cents, or 8.1%, to $7.82

Enbridge called on Canada's energy regulator on Wednesday to ignore calls from some of its shippers and avoid intervening in the pipeline company's contentious proposal to revamp contracts on its Mainline network.

Enbridge handed back nine cents to $45.77.

CIBC cut the price target on Roots Corp. to $3.00 from $4.50. Roots notched two cents higher to $2.40.

Scotiabank raised the price target on TMX Group to $130.00 from $122.00. TMX shares gained $1.24, or 1.1%, to $118.58.

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada reported its new housing price index was down 0.1% at the national level for the third consecutive month in July.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange added 2.78 points to 588.94

Eight of the 12 Toronto subgroups were positive starting out Thursday, as gold climbed 2.9%, materials picked up 1.5%, and information technology acquired 0.7%

The four laggards were weighed most by health-care, descending 2%, energy, sliding 1.5%, and consumer discretionary stocks, off 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks hovered along the flatline on Thursday as investors digested a delay to higher U.S. tariffs against Chinese imports along with a large bond buying program from Europe’s central bank.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tiptoed up 4.71 points to 27,141.75, hoping to extend its win streak to seven straight sessions.

The S&P 500 added 28.43 points to 3,005.79, its highest level since late July.

The NASDAQ Composite added 28.43 points to 8,198.11

The Dow and S&P 500 entered Thursday’s session less than 1% from record highs reached in July. The Dow also closed above 27,000 on Wednesday for the first time since July 30 while the S&P 500 broke above 3,000 for the first time since July 31.

The Kroger Company and Duluth Holdings are among the companies reporting earnings Thursday.

President Donald Trump agreed to delay an additional increase in tariffs on Chinese goods by two weeks "as a gesture of good will." The move raised hopes of a thaw in trade frictions between the world’s two largest economies.

Elsewhere, investors digested the latest decision from policymakers at the European Central Bank. The ECB cut its deposit rate by10 basis point and launched a new bond buying program. The bank will buy €20 billion worth of assets for as long as needed.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained, dropping yields to 1.73% from Wednesday’s 1.74%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices fell $1.29 to $54.46 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $21.00 to $1,524.20 U.S. an ounce.