Futures Drag Heading into Long Weekend

Futures for Canada’s main stock index ticked lower on Friday, as worries about Sino-U.S. tensions deepened after Washington moved to block supply of semiconductors to China’s Huawei Technologies from global chipmakers.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up gaining 6.45 points to conclude Thursday’s session at 14,509.66.

The Canadian dollar eased 0.28 cents early Friday to 70.90 cents U.S.

June futures dwindled 0.4% Friday.

Markets in Canada will be closed Monday for Victoria Day

Aurora Cannabis posted a smaller loss compared with the prior quarter on Thursday as customers in the United States and Canada stockpiled cannabis ahead of lockdowns. Cowen and Company cut the company’s price target to $11 from $12

National Bank of Canada raised the target price on Bank of Montreal to $78.00 from $76.00

CIBC raised the target price on CCL Industries to $49.00 from $44.00

In the economic docket, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) was due to report home sales for April.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange advanced 4.85 points, or 1%, to 498.26.

ON WALLSTREET

Stock futures fell on Friday as investors awaited a key reading on the retail sector while tensions between China and the U.S. increased.

Futures for Dow Jones Industrials capsized 194 points, or 0.8 %, early Friday to 23,340.

Futures for the S&P 500 fell 26 points, or 0.9%, at 2,821.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite tumbled 113.75 points, or 1.3%, to 8,965.75.

The 30-stock index rallied more than 300 points while the S&P 500 gained over 1% on Thursday. The NASDAQ advanced 0.9%

Despite Thursday’s gains, however, Wall Street was headed for its biggest weekly decline since late March. The Dow and S&P 500 both ended Thursday’s session down more than 2% for the week. The NASDAQ had lost nearly 2% week to date.

Futures were also under pressure as the Trump administration moves to block semiconductor shipments to Chinese company Huawei. The Commerce Department said it would “strategically target Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain U.S. software and technology.”

Shares of semiconductor makers AMD, Nvidia and Skyworks Solutions all fell more than 1% in the pre-market. Apple shares slid 2.3% while Cisco loosed 2.2%, and Qualcomm fell 3.7%.

Monthly retail sales data due out at 8:30 a.m. ET are expected to show a record drop as American consumers largely sheltered in place amid the coronavirus outbreak.

April retail sales are expected to plunge 12.3%, which would be the largest decline since the data series began in 1992. Economists expect the report to show extreme weakness in apparel sales, and gasoline and auto sales.

But spending on food and beverage retailers and online purchases likely rose.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday there will be more “suffering and death” if states reopen their economies too quickly. His comments came as some states start letting nonessential businesses resume operations.

More than 4.4 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed globally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S. alone, there have been over 1.4 million known infections.

Overseas, in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.6%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Sang index eased 0.1%.

Oil prices took on 69 cents to $28.25 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices leaped $2.50 to $1,743.90.