Futures Race Monday

Futures in Canada’s biggest stock market rose on Monday after the federal government said on Friday it would cover 75% of wages for small businesses and the central bank cut its key interest rate to stem the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The TSX Composite Index dropped 683.43 points, or 5.1%, to end Friday and the week at 12,687.74. Even so, the index gained 7% on the week.

The Canadian dollar backtracked 0.43 cents early Monday to 70.64 cents U.S.

March futures picked up 0.7% early Monday.

Canada’s top lenders lowered their prime rates by 50 basis points on Friday, hours after the central bank unexpectedly cut its key interest rate to help the county weather the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Competition Bureau has said Air Canada’s proposed $720-million acquisition of tour operator Transat A.T. Inc will result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition.

Credit Suisse cut the rating on Acadian Timber to neutral from outperform

RBC cut the price target on Corus Entertainment to $4.00 from $7.00

CIBC cut the target price on Extendicare to $8.50 from $9.50

CIBC cut the target price on Suncor Energy to C$40 from C$45

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange 9.85 points, or 2.5%, to 388.58, a hike of 9% over the week.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock futures were mostly flat Monday morning, following sharp gains last week, as the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. continued to rise at an alarming rate over the weekend.

Futures for Dow Jones Industrials docked 11 points, or 0.1%, early Monday to 21,426.

Futures for the S&P 500 gained 8.75 points, or 0.4%, at 2,532.75

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite tacked on 28.5 points, on 0.4%, to 7,597.

The Dow last week posted its biggest weekly gain since 1938, surging more than 12%. The S&P 500 rose 10.3% and the NASDAQ picked up 9.1%, for their best week since 2009.

To be sure, it was a volatile ride for investors. The S&P 500 posted daily swings of at least 2.9% in four of the five sessions. That includes a 3.4% drop on Friday for the S&P 500.

A 5% drop in crude prices weighed on the market as big declines in oil has triggered selling in other areas of the markets. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were last seen at $20.36.

Coronavirus cases around the world are still climbing, adding to the uncertainty over when lockdown and quarantine measures will be removed and the economy can return to normal.

Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows more than 713,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed globally. The U.S. overtook Italy and China last week as the country with the most cases with over 136,000. Nearly half of all U.S. cases come from New York, where more than 59,000 people have been infected.

President Donald Trump also extended at a news conference Sunday the national social distancing guidelines to April 30 and said the death rate would peak in two weeks.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.6%, while Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index faded 1.3%.

Oil prices faded $1.32 to $20.19 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices sank $12.60 to $1,641.50 U.S. an ounce.