Stocks Struggle to Make Breakeven

Labrador Iron Ore, Ballard in Focus

Equities in Canada’s largest centre fell just below the breakeven level late Friday morning, dragged down by weakness in gold miners as the precious metal was on course for its biggest weekly decline in two months.

The TSX remained in the minus category 10.18 points approaching noon EST at 17,341.16.

The Canadian dollar regained 0.26 cents to 77.05 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Labrador Iron
Ore Royalty, which jumped $1.41, or 4.6%, to $25.97, after the company declared a dividend.

Its gains were followed by Ballard Power Systems, which rose $1.43, or 5.5%, to $27.23.

Endeavour Mining fell 54 cents, or 1.8%, the most on the TSX, to $29.46, and the second-biggest decliner was SSR Mining, down 21 cents, or 1.5%, to $13.63.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange skidded five points to read at 741.17.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups gained ground, led by health-care, up 1%, information technology, gaining 0.8%, and energy, up 0.4%

The four laggards were weighed most by gold, losing 1.3%, materials, down 1.2%, and real-estate, off 1.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks in the U.S. rose on Friday as traders wrapped up a strong week amid decreasing political uncertainty and positive vaccine news.

The Dow Jones Industrials regained 52.47 points to proceed during a shortened session at 29,924.84.

The S&P 500 recovered 11.26 points to 3,640.91,

The NASDAQ raced 121.65 points, or 1%, to 12,216.06.

U.S. markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Friday’s session will close at 1 p.m. EST.

The Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ were all up at least 2% for the week entering Friday’s session. Earlier in the week, the Dow jumped to an all-time high, breaking above 30,000 for the first time. The S&P 500 also notched a record closing high this week, and the Russell 2000 rallied to an all-time high.

Retailers led the early gains as investors bet on a strong holiday shopping season. Amazon shares advanced 0.8%. Shopify advanced 0.8%, and Walmart rose 10.5%. Etsy shares were up by 7%. On Thanksgiving Day, sales rose to a record $5.1 billion, according to Adobe Analytics.

Stocks came into Friday’s session riding high in November thanks in part to a slew of positive coronavirus vaccine trial data.
Earlier this month, Pfizer and BioNTech said their vaccine was more than 90% effective. Moderna also said its drug was highly effective in a trial.

That data helped push the Dow up 12.8% in November, putting it on track for its biggest monthly gain since January 1987. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ came into the day up 11% and 10.8%, respectively, in November. Meanwhile, the small-cap Russell 2000 is on track for its best month ever, up nearly 20%.

Also helping sentiment were comments from President Donald Trump, who said he would leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury regained lost ground, lowering yields to 0.85% from Wednesday’s 0.89%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped 37 cents to $45.34 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slumped $23.60 to $1,787.60 U.S.