TSX Struggles to Get Back to Breakeven

Silvercorp, Methanex in Focus

Canada's main stock index fell on Thursday as the heavyweight energy sector dropped on lower oil prices, with bleak trade data for April further denting sentiment.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index recovered to within 9.17 points of breakeven to pause for lunch hour Thursday at 15,565.94

The Canadian dollar dipped 0.11 cents at 73.95 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Silvercorp Metals, which jumped 62 cents, or 10.3%, to $6.67..

Its gains were followed by Methanex, which rose $1.55, or 5.9%, to $27.79, after the methanol producer and supplier secured additional financial flexibility under its credit facilities.

Baytex Energy recovered from heavy losses in the morning to reach Wednesday’s close of 64 cents.

Meantime, Canada Goose Holdings was down (pardon the pun) 49 cents, or 1.4%, to $33.74, after surging on Wednesday as it announced plans to limit shipments to department stores and focus on its own outlets and website.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 4.59 points midday at to 562.37.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative, with consumer staples wilting 1%, information technology down 0.8%, and consumer discretionaries sinking 0.7%.

The five gainers were led by gold, up 1.5%, real-estate, better by 1.4%, and materials, better by 1.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks were little changed on Thursday as Wall Street grappled with disappointing jobs data and more central bank stimulus after a blistering rally to start off the month.

The Dow Jones Industrials eked up 7.32 points to reach noon EDT at 26,277.21.

The S&P 500 remained in the red 7.87 points to 3,115.

The NASDAQ drifted lower 35.15 points to 9.647.77.

Amazon shares have rallied more than 30% since March 23 while PepsiCo is up 26%. Costco has gained over 8% in that time and PayPal is up more than 85%.

Shares of companies that benefit from the economy recovering outperformed on Thursday. American Airlines rallied more than 14%. JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Bank of America advanced more than 1% each. MGM Resorts gained 2.2%.

The Labor Department said 1.877 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, topping a Dow Jones estimate of 1.775 million. Continuing jobless claims rose sharply, nearly reaching 21.5 million. The data was released a day ahead of the department’s monthly jobs report.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury fell sharply, raising yields to 0.80% from Wednesday’s 0.75%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices tailed off 45 cents to $36.84 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices hiked $13.40 to $1,718.20 U.S. an ounce.