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Stocks Show Muscle in First Hour

Baystreet.ca

Equities in Canada’s largest centre showed strength to start Thursday’s session, with tech and consumer stocks positive.

The S&P/TSX Composite gained 56.69 points to start trading on Thursday at 16,321.91

The Canadian dollar regained 0.13 cents to 75.28 cents U.S.

Magna International trimmed its sales forecast for the year, as it expects a drop in vehicle production in North America and Europe due to weak global demand and the impact of U.S.-China trade tensions.

Magna shot higher $2.65, or 4.1%, to $67.06

Canadian Tire Corp reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt mainly by lower margins in its petroleum retail business. The retail giant settled $6.63, or 4.6%, to $136.50.

TMX Group posted quarterly adjusted profit on Wednesday that topped market expectations, as it reined in operating expenses and benefited from strength in its global solutions business. RBC raised the target price on TMX to $118.00 from $106.00.

Its stock ballooned $8.84, or 8.7%, in Thursday’s first hour, to $110.24.

Manulife Financial on Wednesday edged past estimates for second-quarter profit, helped by strength in its large Asia unit. Manulife shares gained 75 cents, or 3.4%, to $22.64.

National Bank of Canada raised the target price on Argonaut Gold to $3.90 from $3.75. Argonaut lost six cents, or 2.3%, to $2.57.

CIBC maintained a target price of $7.00 on Bonterra Energy. Bonterra shares were static at $4.19.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported new housing prices were down 0.1% at the national level for the second consecutive month in June. Prices have been flat or falling since last August.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange ducked 1.35 points to 595.98

All but three of the 12 Toronto subgroups were positive in the first hour, as information technology climbed 1%, consumer staples took on 0.9%, and energy grew 0.8%.

The three laggards were gold, dulling 1.4%, materials, weaker by 0.5%, and real-estate, off 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Thursday as global bond yields rebounded while investors digested better-than-expected trade data out of China.

The Dow Jones Industrials leaped 141.86 points to 26,148.93

The S&P 500 tacked on 21.52 points to 2,905.31

The NASDAQ leaped 68.64 points to 7,931.46

Strong data out of China helped calm Wall Street down. China said exports rose 3.3% on a year-over-year basis in July. Economists expected exports to fall by 2%.

Caterpillar shares also kept sentiment in check, falling more than 1% after an analyst at Goldman Sachs downgraded it to neutral from buy. The analyst said headwinds from China and North America’s construction equipment market hinder him from justifying a buy rating on Caterpillar.

AMC Entertainment Holdings and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are among the companies reporting earnings Thursday.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell sharply, lifting yields to 1.76% from Wednesday’s 1.60%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices regained $1.13 to $52.22 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices sagged $12.70 to $1,506.90 U.S. an ounce.