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Stocks Remain Winners by Noon

Canada's main stock index rose for the third-straight session on Thursday, supported by technology and commodity-linked shares, while investors digested mixed manufacturing data.

The TSX Composite remained buoyant 72.68 points to break for noon EST at 20,525.94.

The Canadian dollar handed back 0.04 cents to 74.49 cents U.S.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Bank of Montreal reported a slump in fourth-quarter profit as the lenders set aside bigger provisions to cover
potential loan defaults against the backdrop of an uncertain macroeconomic environment.

CIBC shares retreated $3.69, or 5.7%, to $61.10, while those for BMO skidded 86 cents to $130.52.

However, TD Bank posted a surge in fourth-quarter profit as gains from higher interest rates offset weakness in underwriting and capital markets. Shares in TD gained $1.44, or 1.6%, to $90.97.

The seasonally-adjusted S&P Global Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) registered at 49.6 in November. That was up from 48.8 in October to signal a slower rate of contraction. Nonetheless, the PMI has now posted below the 50.0 no-change mark for four months in a row.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 6.3 points, or 1.1%, to 597.30.

All but three of 12 subgroups were positive midday, with health-care haler 3.6%, gold better by 2.8%, and information technology higher 2.7%.

The three laggards were financials, down 0.4%, while consumer staples and energy each declined 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell on Thursday, giving up some of the big gains in the prior session, as investors awaited jobs data coming Friday that could determine the pace of the Federal Reserve’s future rate tightening.

The 30-stock index backtracked 314.35 points to break for lunch Thursday at 34,275.42.

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The S&P 500 gave back 11.35 points to 4,068.76.

The NASDAQ dipped 7.72 points to 11,460.28.

Costco shares dropped 6% after posting a 5.7% November sales increase, a slowing from a 7.7% increase in October and a poor sign with retailers in their key holiday season. Costco also reported a 10.1% decline in e-commerce sales during the period. Shares of Walmart and Target were lower Thursday, following Costco

Shares of Salesforce tumbled 9%, helping to drag down the Dow, after the software company said its co-CEO would be stepping down soon.

The moves departed from earlier boosts that followed the release of the Core Personal Consumption Expenditures Index, a closely watched gauge of spending. October data showed the index rose 0.2%, below the consensus estimate of 0.3% collected from economists by Dow Jones.

Investors will be watching Friday for data on the unemployment rate and non-farm payrolls.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 3.57% from Tuesday’s 3.64%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices increased $1.63 to $82.18 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices popped $56.10 to $1,816.00 U.S. an ounce.