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Stocks Flat by Noon

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Canada's main stock index was little changed on Wednesday as gains in materials and industrials sectors ...

Canada's main stock index was little changed on Wednesday as gains in materials and industrials sectors offset a drop in energy stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index remained in the red 12.95 points to approach noon hour at 16,084.86

The Canadian dollar increased 0.37 cents to 78.04 cents U.S.

The United States is pushing for a deal in negotiations on a revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and President Donald Trump is committed to getting a better agreement with Canada and Mexico, the White House said.

Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd rose 42 cents, or 2.5%, to $17.17 after the Canadian government said it is ready to indemnify the pipeline operator's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion against unnecessary delays that are politically motivated.

The biggest percentage gainer on the TSX was First Majestic Silver, which jumped 73 cents, or 3.5%, to $21.69.

Prometic Life Sciences fell five cents, or 6.7%, to 70 cents, the most on the TSX, after it reported first-quarter results. Aurora Cannabis' drop of 27 cents, or 3.5%, to $7.52, made it the second-biggest decliner.

Home Capital Group was up 10 cents to $14.23, after the mortgage lender said its unit got a two-year $500 million funding commitment to replace a $2 billion credit facility offered by Berkshire Hathaway.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis and Neovasc (down a penny, or 22.2%, to 3.5 cents). Aphria fell 16 cents, or 1.2%, to $12.85, on news that it entered a deal with Colombia-based Colcanna SAS to supply medical cannabis.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported manufacturing sales rose 1.4% to $57.1 billion in March. The agency says higher sales at primary metal, aerospace product and parts, fabricated metal product, and other transportation equipment industries were mostly responsible for the increase.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 1.65 points to 779.38

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher, with consumer staples improving 0.4%, while health-care and materials each higher by 0.3%.

The five laggards were weighed most by utilities, sinking 0.6%, gold, dulling 0.5% in price and financials, off 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Wednesday as retail shares jumped on the back of strong quarterly earnings from retailer Macy's.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 17.7 points to 24,724.18, with Nike as the best-performing stock in the index.

The S&P 500 added 7.15 points to 2,718.60, as the consumer discretionary sector climbed 0.6%.

The NASDAQ acquired 33.98 points to 7,385.61

The major indexes are up sharply this month, with the S&P 500 and Dow having gained more than 2% through Tuesday's close. The NASDAQ, meanwhile, was up 4% in that period.

Macy's shares rallied 6.4% on stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings. The company's same-store sales, a key metric for retailers, rose 4.2% last quarter versus an estimate of 1.4%.

Elsewhere in corporate news, Teva Pharmaceutical rose more than 3 percent after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway revealed it increased its stake in the company.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury dipped sharply, raising yields to 3.08% from Tuesday’s 3.07%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell 19 cents a barrel to $71.12 U.S.

Gold prices dipped $2.30 to $1,288 U.S. an ounce.