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Stocks Up Slightly at Open

Baystreet.ca
Equities in Canada’s largest market contented themselves with only slight gains as improvements in mining ...

Equities in Canada’s largest market contented themselves with only slight gains as improvements in mining and energy companies were offset by declines in utility stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 27.98 points to begin trade Friday at 15,297.25

The Canadian dollar eked up two cents to 79.46 cents U.S.

Credit Suisse raised target price on Canadian Pacific Railway to $204 from $200. CP shares retreated 17 cents to $223.37.

Barclays raised the rating on Shaw Communications to overweight from equal weight. Shaw shares doffed nine cents to $26.33.

Gold stocks also shone, as Barrick Gold rose 33 cents, or 2%, to $16.50

Among health-care issues, shares in Aurora Cannabis were unchanged at $8.04, while rival Canopy Growth took on 20 cents to $27.87.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange advanced 5.37 points to 787.74

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive, with gold up 1.4%, while health-care and materials each soared 1%.

Utilities proved the lone failing group, down 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks were on track to post strong weekly gains as the latest corporate earnings season began.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 23.63 points to 24,506.68,

The S&P 500 advanced 3.44 points to 2,667.43

The NASDAQ Composite index dipped 4.68 points to 7,135.56

The Dow and S&P 500 are up more than 2.5% for the week, while the NASDAQ is up more than 3% in that time period.

Citigroup, Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase all reported quarterly earnings and revenue that surpassed analyst expectations. Bank shares initially traded higher before slipping in mid-morning trading, as the strong results were already priced in.

Expectations for this earnings season are high, with one expert pegging earnings growing by 17.1% last quarter.

Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are all scheduled to release earnings next week.

Markets have been on edge in recent days after President Donald Trump appeared to criticize the Kremlin for its supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad, following a suspected chemical attack last weekend.

Concerns about a trade war with China are also lingering. The Wall Street Journal reported, citing officials familiar with the matter, that the Trump administration is planning to ratchet up the trade pressure on China through new tariffs and by threatening to block Chinese technology investment in the United States.

In economic news, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index ticked down to 97.8 in April from 101.4 in March.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained ground, weighing yields to 2.83% from Thursday’s 2.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices strengthened 27 cents a barrel to $67.34 U.S.

Gold prices moved up $6.10 to $1,348.00 U.S. an ounce.