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Stocks still lukewarm by noon
Equities in Toronto floundered somewhat Thursday, mostly on weakness in health-care and discretionary ...

Equities in Toronto floundered somewhat Thursday, mostly on weakness in health-care and discretionary stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 30.16 points to move toward noon ET Thursday at 16,018.86

The Canadian dollar dipped 0.09 cents to 76.84 cents.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Wednesday officials needed to do more work before she could hold fresh talks with the United States on renewing North America Free Trade Agreement as time runs out to reach a deal.

Health-care took the biggest lumps, as Aurora Cannabis shed 32 cents, or 3.5%, to $8.79, and Aphria doffed $1.42, or 6.8%, to $19.40.

Dollarama's drop of $7.69, or 14.8%, to $44.38, was the biggest drag on the TSX and pushed the consumer discretionary index down. Elsewhere in the sector, Gildan Activewear lost nine cents to $38.92.

Energy stocks moved lower as well, as Suncor retreated 19 cents to $49.94, and Canadian Natural Resources slumped 59 cents, or 1.4%., to $40.94.

Among the biggest decliners was Empire Co, down $1.03, or 4.1%, to $24.03, after posting its quarterly results.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Methanex Corp, which jumped $3.58, or 3.8%, to $99.10. New Gold acquired a penny to $1.27.

In the industrial sector, Canadian National Railway chugged ahead 85 cents to $112.95, while rival Canadian Pacific Railway gained 39 cents to $269.57.

On the economic list, Statistics Canada reported that builders in 15 of the 27 census metropolitan areas surveyed reported higher prices in July, pushing the Canada-level new housing price index up 0.1%. It was the second straight rise for house prices in this country.


The TSX Venture Exchange slipped 0.31 points to 726.19

Seven of the 12 subgroups were lower late morning Thursday, as health-care tumbled 3.1%, consumer discretionary stocks retreated 1.5%, and energy dipped 0.8%.

The four gainers were led by industrial stocks, squeezing higher 0.3%, while utilities and materials each inched upward 0.1%.


Stocks rose on Thursday, boosted by lower rates stemming from weaker-than-forecast inflation data as well as a rebound in Apple shares.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average prospered 93.37 points to 26,092.29, with Apple contributing the most to the gains.

The S&P 500 stayed afloat 10.39 points to 2,899.31, led by gains in materials and tech.

The NASDAQ strengthened 56.87 points to 8,011.10

Equities came off their highs, however, after President Donald Trump said there was no pressure to strike a trade deal with China.

Apple shares gave the broader equity market a boost as well as they rose more than 1%. The move comes after Apple unveiled three new iPhones on Wednesday.

Other tech stocks also rose on Thursday, including Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia. AMD jumped more than 5% while Nvidia gained 1.4%.

Sentiment improved after news emerged that the U.S. was seeking to reignite trade discussions with China. Sources told the media that the United States was in the early stages of proposing a new round of trade talks with China in the near future.

This comes after a week of turmoil between the two nations, which saw China looking to seek permission from the World Trade Organization to inflict sanctions upon the U.S., and President Donald Trump stating last week that he was "ready to go" on hitting China with an additional amount of tariffs. Consequently, an air of cautiousness lingers for markets around the world.

Shares in Boeing picked up 1%, and Caterpillar, another bellwether for global trade, rose 0.8%.

The Commerce Department said the consumer price index — a widely followed inflation metric — rose 0.2% last month. Economists expected a gain of 0.3%

Investors had grown fearful of rising inflation recently, as it could lead to tighter monetary policy. The Federal Reserve has raised rates twice this year and is forecast to hike again later this month.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury gained a bit of ground, lowering yields to 2.95% from Wednesday’s 2.98%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices subsided $1.53 to $68.84 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices sank $1.80 to $1,209.10