Easing of Lockdowns Removes Restraints on Stocks

Southwest, Macy’s in Focus

Equities in Canada’s largest market rose in early trade on Tuesday as the easing of coronavirus-driven lockdowns across the world bolstered optimism in the global economic recovery.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced 91.45 points to kick off Tuesday at 15,166.87.

The Canadian dollar solidified 0.78 cents to 72.31 cents U.S.

Bank of Nova Scotia reported quarterly profit that beat analysts' estimates due to a strong performance in the capital markets business, but the bank's loan loss provisions jumped two-fold.

Scotiabank shares screamed higher $2.46, or 4.7%, to $54.45.

As a rating agency, Scotiabank raised the target price on CAE to $24.00 from $22.00. Shares in the plane maker, well, flew $1.06, or 5.7%, to $19.58.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange added 2.07 points to start the session at 543.91.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive in the first hour, with financials richer by 2.9%, consumer discretionary shares gaining 1.9%, and energy up 1.7%.

The four laggards were weighed most by gold, down 3.3%, health-care, off 2.2%, and information technology, ahead 2.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks surged on Tuesday as optimism grew about the reopening of the economy and a potential coronavirus vaccine.

The Dow Jones Industrials took off for the wild blue yonder, gaining 547.89 points, or 2.2%, to 25,013.05. The 30-stock average traded at levels not seen since early March, jumping above 25,000.

The S&P 500 hiked 52.95 points, or 1.8%, to 3,008.40, breaking above 3,000 for the first time since March 5.

The NASDAQ popped 128.45 points, or 1.4%, to 9,454.69.

Monday, markets in the U.S. were shuttered for Memorial Day.

American biotech company Novavax said Monday it started the first human study of its experimental coronavirus vaccine. The company said it expects initial results on safety and immune responses in July.

Last week, another biotech Moderna reported positive development on its vaccine trial where all 45 participants had developed coronavirus antibodies. There are 10 vaccines in clinical evaluation and 114 in pre-clinical evaluation.

Economic activity continued to pick up as states begin opening up their economies. Some of the biggest gainers were directly tied to the reopening. Carnival shares jumped 10.8%. MGM Resorts climbed 8.9%. United Airlines and Southwest Airlines rose more than 9% each.

Southwest got a boost from a UBS upgrade to buy. The analyst said the airline has a "clearer path for domestic travel recovery." Separately, Macy’s said it has seen "greater demand than we expected" in its reopened stores. Macy’s shares gained 6.4%.

Data out Tuesday also reinforced the belief that the U.S. economy has hit its bottom amid the pandemic. A measure of consumer confidence jumped to 86.6 this month from 85.7 in April, according to the Conference Board. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected consumer confidence of 82.3 in May.

Meanwhile, new home sales in April also topped estimates. Sales of new U.S. single-family homes increased by 623,000 last month, beating estimates of 490,000, according to Dow Jones.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury dropped, raising yields to 0.70% from Friday’s 0.66%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices regained 66 cents to $33.91 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slipped $20.80 to $1,714.70 U.S. an ounce.