Stocks Flat by Friday Noon

Corus, BlackBerry in Focus

Stocks in Toronto were fairly static midday Friday, despite encouraging estimates of domestic wholesale data and gains in Corus Entertainment after multiple brokerages went bullish on the stock following a strong quarterly result.

The TSX eked up 0.11 points to pause for lunch Friday at 16,279.47.

The Canadian dollar was down 0.03 cents at 76.09 cents U.S.

Corus jumped 30 cents, or 8.9%, to $3.68, after multiple brokerages raised their price targets on its stock following upbeat quarterly results.

Canfor Corp shed morning gains and fell 18 cents, or 1.1%, to $16.45, after the company posted third-quarter earnings above analysts' estimates.

BlackBerry fell 11 cents, or 1.6%, to $6.62 and another prominent loser was Lundin Gold, down 26 cents, or 2.2%, to $11.70.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange stayed positive 0.9 points to 717.69.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were still negative over noon hour with gold easing 0.9%, while health-care and consumer discretionary stocks each docked 0.8%.

The four gainers were led by energy, up 0.8%, financials, better by 0.4%, and real-estate, nicking up 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks fell on Friday as Intel shares led the broader tech sector lower while investors weighed the potential for additional fiscal stimulus.

The Dow Jones Industrials headed south 102.03 points midday at 28,261.63.

The S&P 500 subtracted 5.15 points to 3,448.34.

The NASDAQ slumped 58.68 points to 11,447.75.

Intel shares fell 11.3% following the release of mixed quarterly numbers for the chipmaker. The company’s earnings were in line with analyst expectations, but revenue from its data center business fell short of analyst estimates.

Those losses dragged down other tech-related names. Apple traded 1.2% lower. Amazon dipped 0.7%. Western Digital and Micron Technology were both down more than 3%.

Gilead Sciences gained 3.3% after the Food and Drug Administration approved the company’s drug, remdesivir, for use as a treatment against the coronavirus.

Stocks were coming off a solid session, as the major averages rose broadly on Thursday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were making progress in their fiscal stimulus negotiations.

However, Pelosi also tempered expectations over Democrats and Republicans reaching a deal before the election, saying it could take "a while" for a bill to be written and signed.

Friday’s slight move also came after President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden took part in the final presidential debate before the Nov. 3 election.

The candidates discussed a broad range of issues during the debate, including the coronavirus pandemic, foreign policy and health care.

Biden held a lead in most national polls heading into the debate as the possibility for a so-called Blue Wave grows. Some investors think a Democratic sweep could lead to a pop in equity prices in the short term. However, at least one hedge fund manager warned Thursday that this scenario could pressure stocks in the long term.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury regained lost ground, lowering yields to 0.84% from Thursday’s 0.87%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices docked 65 cents at $39.99 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dumped $5.40 to $1,899.20