Futures Rise Friday

Canada’s main stock index futures ticked up on Friday on signs of improving relations between the United States and China and higher oil prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index tenaciously clung to gains of 2.95 points, to conclude Thursday at 14,833.69.

The Canadian dollar improved 0.14 cents early Friday to 71.75 cents U.S.

June futures gained 0.9% Friday.

CIBC raised the target price on Cargojet to $150.00 from $140.00

TD Securities raised the target price on Kinaxis to $190.00 from $165.00

National Bank of Canada resumes coverage on Silvercrest Metals with outperform rating.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada said the economy lost two million jobs during April, bringing the total employment decline since the beginning of the COVID-19 economic shutdown to over three million, and the unemployment rate up 5.2 percentage points to 13%.

StatsCan also said the total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities decreased 13.1% to $7.4 billion in March, with declines reported in seven provinces and two territories. The $1.1-billion national decrease was the largest since August 2014.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported housing starts were 199,589 units in April 2020, down from 204,899 units in March 2020. Excluding Québec, the trend was 155,995 units in April 2020, up from 153,463 units in March 2020. This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 9.4 points Thursday to 488.22.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock futures rose Friday even after the ugliest monthly jobs report ever as investors bet the worst of the coronavirus and its impact on the economy has passed.

Futures for Dow Jones Industrials galloped 232 points, or 1%, early Friday to 24,075

Futures for the S&P 500 gained 34 points, or 1.2%, at 2,914.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite hiked 85.25 points, or 0.9%, to 9,193. as tech stocks looked to add to their gains after pushing the tech-heavy index into positive territory for the year on Thursday.

The U.S. Labor Department said a record 20.5 million jobs were lost last month, adding the unemployment rate jumped to 14.7% from just 4.4%. Both the spike in job losses and the unemployment-rate surge are post-World War II records.

To be sure, neither print was as bad as feared. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a loss of 21.5 million jobs and an unemployment rate of 16%.

With the suspicion that the economy will be reopening soon, stocks that would benefit from reopening the economy rose again Friday morning. Airlines, Disney, MGM Resorts and Hilton Worldwide were all higher in pre-market trading Friday.

Overseas, markets in Tokyo zoomed, with the Nikkei 225 leaping 2.6%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Sang index picked up 1%.

Oil prices climbed 84 cents to $24.79 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices fell $5.90 to $1,719.90 U.S. an ounce.