Stocks Stay Afloat by Early Afternoon

Painted Pony, Natural Resources in Focus

Canada's main stock index opened higher on Monday, boosted by energy stocks which tracked higher oil prices and an improvement in China's factory data.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index held onto gains of 49.34 points to greet noon hour at 16,593.82.

The Canadian dollar strengthened 22 cents to 74.91 cents U.S.

Painted Pony Energy jumped 14% after Canadian Natural Resources said it would buy the company for $461 million, including debt.

Canopy Growth gained about 9% after the pot producer reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Monday.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Canopy Growth, which jumped 10.9%, after the company posted a smaller quarterly loss.

Its gains were followed by Silvercorp Metals, which rose 5.8%.

Kinaxis fell 4.4%, the most on the TSX, while the second biggest decliner was Pason Systems down 3.2%.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regained 8.99 points midday to 748.97.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher early Monday afternoon, as energy rumbled ahead 2.1%, health-care, better by 2%, while consumer discretionary stocks popped 1%.

The three laggards proved to be information technology, fading 2.3%, while consumer staples docked 0.8%, and communications fell back 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied on Monday even amid uncertainty over a new coronavirus stimulus package.

The 30-stock average remained in nosebleed country, having gained 278.06 points to 27,711.54.

The S&P 500 regained 8.24 points to 3,359.52.

The NASDAQ remained negative 20.54 points by mid-Monday to 10,990.45.

Those orders continue the distribution of expanded unemployment benefits, defer student loan payments through 2020, extend a federal moratorium on evictions and provide a payroll tax holiday.

However, the unemployment benefit will be continued at a reduced rate of $400 per week. Originally, the benefit provided workers impacted by the pandemic with $600 per week.

Trump’s moves come after congressional leaders failed to make progress on a new coronavirus stimulus package last week. Several benefits from a package signed earlier in the year lapsed at the end of July, raising uncertainty about the U.S. economy moving forward.

Still, Trump’s orders face a legal challenge as continuing the programs would require federal funding, which Congress controls. Democrats have insisted they will not support a bill that does not extend the $600 per week benefit.

Investors also kept on eye on the worsening relationship between the U.S. and China. On Monday, China said it would apply sanctions against 11 U.S. citizens including senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. The move is a retaliation against Washington’s sanctions on 11 Hong Kong and Chinese officials for curtailing political freedoms in the city.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury lost a bit of ground, raising yields to 0.57% from Friday’s 0.56%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices climbed $1.04 to $42.26 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices stayed upward $12.90 to $2,040.90 U.S. an ounce.