Stocks Fade in First Hour

Banks Again in Spotlight

Equities in Canada’s largest market opened higher on Thursday on hopes that the easing of lockdowns across the world would put the global economy back on track.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index dipped 30.66 points to begin Thursday at 15,241.37

The Canadian dollar settled 0.12 cents to 72.56 cents U.S.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce reported a 70% slump in quarterly profit, as it set aside more money to cover potential loan-losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

CIBC lost $1.39, or 1.5%, to $90.41.

TD Bank Group reported a 52% fall in quarterly profit, as Canada's second-biggest lender by market value set aside more money to cover loan losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

TD shares dipped $2.33, or 3.7%, to $60.37.

Credit Suisse raise the target price on Royal Bank of Canada to $101 from $100. Shares in the Canada’s largest bank gave back 52 cents to $91.73.

RBC cut the target price on Bank of Montreal to $75.00 from $76.00. Shares in "The First Canadian Bank" dropped 38 cents to $70.40.

Enbridge Inc said on Wednesday coating repairs were underway at its oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan, as exposed metal spots were found during seasonal maintenance that began in May.

Moreover, Jefferies raised the target price on Enbridge to $49.00 from $47.00

Enbridge shares improved 41 cents to $44.62.

Canaccord Genuity cut the target price on Aecon Group to $19.00 from $22.00.

Aecon shares fell nine cents to $14.80.

On the economic sheet, Statistics Canada said payroll employment in this country decreased in March by 914,500, or 5.4%, from February, in line with the 5.3% decrease in total employment observed in the Labour Force Survey.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange added 4.8 points to begin Thursday to 545.90.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups advanced, with gold soaring 1.9%, materials, up 1.6%, and consumer staples, ahead 0.5%.

The five laggards were weighed most by financials, down 1.7%, energy, dumping 1.5%, and real-estate, retreating 1.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose for a third day on Thursday as the latest unemployment data signaled the worst of the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic may be over.

The Dow Jones Industrials poked up 54.26 points to 25,602.53. However, the 30-stock index traded well off its session highs; it had popped more than 100 points to start the day.

The S&P 500 nicked 3.19 points to 3,039.25.

The NASDAQ sagged 9.28 points to 9,402.96.

The S&P 500 is up 2.7%, while the NASDAQ has climbed 0.9% and the Dow is better by 4.4% since the start of the holiday-shortened week. The Dow is on track for its best week since the week ended April 8.

Stocks that would benefit from the economy reopening rose on Thursday. JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo all gained slightly. Dollar Tree popped more than 10% on the back of stronger-than-forecast quarterly numbers.

Shares of companies that rose on the back of stricter stay-at-home orders fell. Zoom Video slid 1.8%. Shopify shares dipped 1.1% while Amazon lost 0.4%.

Gains were kept in check after China’s National People’s Congress approved a national security bill for Hong Kong. The bill will bypass Hong Kong’s legislature, raising concerns over the longevity of Hong Kong’s “one party, two systems” principle, which allows additional freedoms mainland China does not have.

The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday another 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. That’s more than a Dow Jones estimate of 2.05 million.

To be sure, the pace of new filings has dropped from previous weeks. Continuing claims, which represent a better unemployment picture, plunged by nearly four million in their first decline since the coronavirus outbreak.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were unchanged, leaving yields at Wednesday’s 0.69%.

Oil prices were also unchanged at $32.81 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices jumped $12.80 to $1,739.60 U.S. an ounce.