Futures Subside Ahead of Friday Trade

Northern Dynasty in Forefront

Futures for Canada's main stock index fell on Friday, dragged by lower crude and gold prices, ahead of domestic retail sales data due later in the day.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index faltered 98.71 points to close Thursday at 17,916.20

The Canadian dollar hesitated 0.37 cents to 78.69 cents U.S.

March futures slumped 0.4% Friday.

Northern Dynasty Minerals said on Thursday its U.S. subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership has filed an appeal with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over its decision to deny a key water permit for the contentious Pebble Mine in Alaska.

ATB Capital Markets raised the target price on Air Canada to $28.00 from $27.50

RBC cut the target price on Loblaw Companies to $95.00 from $106.00

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported retail sales rose at their fastest pace since September, up 1.3% to $55.2 billion in November, the seventh consecutive monthly gain.

The agency says the increase was led by higher sales at food and beverage stores, along with an uptick in e-commerce sales.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange slumped 6.94 points to close Thursday at 939.21.

ON WALLSTREET

Stock futures fell early Friday morning with the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite set to retreat from records, as investors reassessed the outlook for President Joe Biden’s ambitious COVID stimulus plan.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial toppled 248 points, or 0.8%, to 30,834.

Futures for the S&P 500 lost 29 points, or 0.8%, at 3,817.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite dropped 85 points, or 0.6%, to 13,310.50.

The S&P 500 is up 2.3% for the week so far. The Dow is up 1.2% and the NASDAQ Composite is up 4%.

Shares of IBM fell more than 7% in pre-market trading after the company reported fourth-quarter sales below where analysts were expecting. Revenue fell 6% on an annualized basis, the fourth consecutive quarter of declines.

Intel shares retreated 4% following a 6% pop on Thursday after it released better-than-expected earnings just before the closing bell.

A growing number of Republicans have expressed doubts over the need for another stimulus bill, especially one with a price tag of $1.9 trillion proposed by Biden. Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has criticized the size of the latest round of proposed stimulus checks.
Dissent from either party carries weight for Biden, who took office with a slim majority in Congress.

Tech companies, which largely don’t need a stimulus to spark growth, led the charge. Hopes for a robust earnings season from the country’s largest communications and tech stocks have kept the mega-cap stocks trending upward this week, and the major indexes near records, during the holiday-shortened week.

Apple has hiked 7.7% and Facebook has risen 8.6%, this week ahead of their quarterly results, while Microsoft has gained 5.8%.

With the S&P 500 up another 2% this year and up 16% over the last 12 months, some investors believe the market may be getting ahead of itself as hiccups with the vaccine rollout and economic reopening remained likely going forward.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 decreased 0.4%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index tumbled 1.6%.

Oil prices slumped $1.45 to $51.68 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices faltered $25.60 to $1,840.30 U.S.