Stocks Slightly Greener by Midday

Stock markets in Canada’s largest centre found some traction by noon EST on Friday, as gains in materials stocks countered energy declines, with rising coronavirus cases globally weighing on sentiment.

The TSX moved upward 34.21 points to break for lunch at 16,944.02.

The Canadian dollar was up 0.14 cents to 76.55 cents U.S.

Fortuna Silver Mines, the largest percentage gainer on the TSX, jumped 29 cents, or 3.5%, to $8.55, followed by SSR Mining Inc, which rose 57 cents, or 2.4%, to $24.31.

Real Matters fell $4.10, or 15.6%, the most on the TSX, to $22.25. The second biggest decliner was Canada Goose Holdings, down $1.28, or 2.8%, to $45.35, after brokerage HSBC downgraded shares of the apparel maker.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported retail sales Retail sales rose 1.1% to $53.9 billion in September—the fifth consecutive monthly increase since the record decline in April.

The hike was led by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, general merchandise stores and food and beverage stores.

Moreover, house prices continued to increase in the majority of housing markets across the country in October.

StatsCan’s housing price index revealed that, nationally, prices for new homes rose 0.8% in October following 1.2% acceleration in September, with prices up in 21 of the 27 census metropolitan areas surveyed.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange sprang up 13.45 points, or 1.8%, to 742.89.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups remained in minus country, as financial stocks slumbered 0.5%, real-estate issues lost 0.4%, and energy descended 0.2%.

The five gainers were led by information technology, sprinting 1.9%, while materials picked up 1.3%, and gold improved 1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell on Friday as rising new coronavirus cases, coupled with questions around central-bank funding for a key emergency programs, cast doubt on a swift economic recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrials slumped 138.9 points to reach noon at 29,344.33.

The S&P 500 dumped 10.63 points to 3,571.24.

The NASDAQ inched up 2.48 points to 11,907.19.

Walgreens fell 1.7%, and Boeing ditched 1.8%, and were the worst-performing stocks in the Dow. Financials fell 0.9% to lead the S&P 500 lower along with energy.

The U.S. seven-day average of daily new Covid-19 infections now stands at 165,029, according to an analysis of John Hopkins data, 24% higher than a week ago. On Thursday alone, a record 187,833 cases were reported. Many states have rolled back reopening plans and implemented fresh restrictions to curb the spread.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday issued a “Limited Stay at Home Order” on a majority of the state’s residents, requiring nonessential work and gatherings to cease between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised Americans against traveling for Thanksgiving.

Also weighing on sentiment Friday was a disagreement between the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve over the continuation of funding for some of the emergency programs implemented during the recession.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is seeking to end a handful of the Fed facilities that bought corporate bonds as well as the Main Street Lending Program targeted towards small- and medium-sized businesses. The move has drawn pushback from the central bank, which said the programs continue to serve an important role to support the vulnerable economy.

On the bullish side, markets got more good news on the vaccine front with Pfizer and BioNTech saying they will apply for an emergency use authorization for their vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration on Friday. The companies said they can be ready to ship the vaccine within hours after FDA approves the authorization.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were higher, weighing yields to 0.84% from at Thursday’s 0.85%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices inched downward nine cents to $41.65 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices held onto gains of $8.70 to $1,870.20 U.S.