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Stocks Falter by Noon

Baystreet.ca
Stocks were headed in the other direction on Thursday, with declines driven by energy companies that ...

Stocks were headed in the other direction on Thursday, with declines driven by energy companies that were squeezed by cooling oil prices, as well as a drop in shares of Kirkland Lake Gold.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gave back 21.25 points by noon to 15,779.15

The Canadian dollar faded 0.08 cents to 80.21 cents U.S.

Suncor Energy was the biggest drag on the index, falling 1.5% to $42.34. It was followed by Canadian Natural Resources, which declined 1.4% to $40.93.

Other influential decliners included Shaw Communications, which slid 3.2% to $27.63, and Kirkland Lake Gold, which slumped 6.1% to $17.37.

Desjardins cut its rating on Kirkland Lake to “hold” from “buy” after the company released quarterly and production results.

On the positive side, Alimentation Couche-Tard rose 2.4% to $60.37. The company is buying back 4.4 million of its shares that were held by

Metro and Eight Capital upgraded the company to a “buy” from “neutral,” citing positive trends.

On the data front, Statistics Canada said new house prices in Canada rose 3.8% year-over-year in August.

The agency says prices for new homes were unchanged in 15 of the 27 census metropolitan areas surveyed, including Toronto and Vancouver. For Toronto, this was the third consecutive month of flat readings.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange lost 2.58 points to pause for noon hour at 788.74.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups remained lower midday, with health-care ailing 1.1%, energy, off 0.8% and consumer discretionary off
0.5%.

The five gainers were led by consumer staples, up 1%, real-estate up 0.5%, and utilities up 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks traded mixed on Thursday as Wall Street digested earnings from some of the top financial companies.

The Dow Jones Industrials eked forward 1.96 points from Wednesday’s all-time high to 22,874.85, with Boeing contributing the most to the gains.

The S&P 500 backtracked 0.33 points from Wednesday’s peak to 2,554.91, with telecommunications and energy leading decliners.

Equities have risen sharply this year, with the S&P 500 advancing 14% in that time period.

Historically, this earnings season has been the best one for investors. Some media reported the S&P 500 posts a gain of 2.3% on average 30 days after third-quarter earnings season begins, trading in positive ranges 79% of the time.

The NASDAQ added 7.7 points to improve on Wednesday’s record high to 6,611.63

JPMorgan Chase reported third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat analyst expectations. The banking giant, however, also reported a 27% year-over-year decline in fixed income trading revenue.

Citigroup also posted better-than-expected quarterly results, driven by growth in its global consumer business.

Other major financial companies slated to report this week include Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

Wall Street also set its sights on economic data Wednesday. The U.S. Labor Department said producer prices south of the line rose 0.4% last month and 2.6% in the 12 months through September.

Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims totaled 243,000, hitting a more than one-month low, the department also said.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained ground, lowering yields to 2.34% from Wednesday’s 2.35%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices skidded 44 cents a barrel to $50.86 U.S.

Gold prices gained $5.90 to $1,294.80 U.S. an ounce