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Stocks Slightly off Midday

Baystreet.ca

Equities in Canada’s largest centre edged lower on Friday as energy shares took a hit from falling oil prices and strong domestic jobs data in August dampened hopes of an interest rate cut next month.

The S&P/TSX Composite came off its lows of the morning, still looking up at breakeven by 12.54 points to greet Friday noon ET at 16,562.27

The Canadian dollar gained 0.34 cents to 75.94 cents U.S.

Pot producers were among the tops gainers, with Cronos Group picking up 78 cents, or 5.1%, to $16.12, while Canopy Growth rocketed $1.80, or 5.2%, to $36.74

Gold took the biggest shocks, as Eldorado Gold dropped 37 cents, or 2.9%, to $12.19, while Novagold collapsed 23 cents, or 2.5%, to $9.18.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Stornoway Diamond, which gained 75% to 1.75 cents, and Encana, off a dime, or 1.6%, to $5.98.

On the economics beat, Statistics Canada reported our economy created 81,000 jobs during August, largely in part-time work. The unemployment rate remained at 5.7% as more people participated in the labour market.

Western University’s IVEY School of Business released its Purchasing Managers Index, which towered over the previous month, at 60.6 in August, from 54.2 in July, but down from 61.9 in August 2018

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regained 5.21 points to 591.47

Eight of the 12 Toronto subgroups remained negative by noon hour, as gold traveled 1.1% lower, materials were down 0.7%, and industrials fell 0.5%.

The four gainers were led mostly health-care, storming ahead 3.5%, while financials and consumer staples registered 0.3% higher each.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose slightly on Friday, putting them on track for a three-day winning streak, despite the release of weaker-than-expected jobs data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average continued hot, gaining 76.4 points to 26,804.55, on course for a weekly gain of 1.5%

The S&P 500 gained 4.89 points to 2,990.89, headed for a jump of 1.9% over the last four sessions.

The NASDAQ Composite moved up 4.27 points to 8,121.10, set to leap 2% over a short week.

In corporate news, Lululemon shares jumped more than 7% on quarterly results that topped analyst expectations. The apparel maker said its same-store sales — a key metric for retailers — rose 15% for the year-earlier period. Lands’ End and Signet Jewelers also rose 2.5% and 4%, respectively, on better-than-expected earnings.

The U.S. economy added 130,000 jobs in August, the Labor Department said. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected jobs to grow by 150,000 last month.

Unemployment remained steady at a rate of 3.7% while wages grew more than expected. Wages expanded by 0.4% on a month-over-month basis and by 3.2% year over year.

August marked the third straight month that job creation in the U.S. slowed. In June, 178,000 jobs were added while 159,000 were created in July.

Investors also awaited remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The top Fed official is scheduled to speak at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Friday’s data and moves come as investors look for clues about the Federal Reserve’s next monetary policy move later this month. Market expectations for a 25 basis-point rate cut are at 91.2%

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained slightly, lowering yields to 1.54% from Thursday’s 1.57%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices fell 33 cents to $55.97 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices hung onto gains of $4.60 to $1,530.10 U.S. an ounce.