Stocks Battle to Reach Breakeven

Stocks in Canada’s largest market remained in the doldrums midday Thursday, weighed by energy stocks as a renewed surge in coronavirus infections in some Asian countries raised concerns about oil demand.

The TSX went into noon hour Thursday down 67.67 points to 19,075.58.

The Canadian dollar regained 0.07 cents to 80.04 cents U.S.

Ballard Power jumped $1.01, or 4%, to $26.07, and Laurentian Bank rose $1.95 or 4.9%, to $42.17.

HudBay Minerals fell 26 cents, or 2.8%, to $9.08, while Fortuna Silver Mines slipped 21 cents, or 2.1%, to $9.76.

Toronto-based semiconductor group Alphawave said on Thursday it was planning to apply for a London listing of its shares, adding that the cornerstone agreement with certain investors gave it a valuation of up to $4.5 billion.

In the economic docket, Statistics Canada says new home prices rose 1.1% in March nationally, following one of the largest monthly increases on record in February.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange edged up 5.78 points to 934.69.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups stayed red by noon, with gold fading 1.4%, materials down 1.2%, and energy trailing 1%.

The three gainers were industrials, heading north 0.7%, real-estate, stronger by 0.3%, and consumer discretionary stocks better by 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S stocks dipped on Thursday following a strong day of gains as the market appeared stuck in a trading range with investors turning a blind eye on solid earnings and economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrials stumbled 56.86 points to pause for lunch Thursday at 34,080.45

The S&P 500 eked up 0.47 points to 4,173.89.

The NASDAQ Composite found its footing and actually gained 40.71 points to 13,990.93.

The Dow and S&P 500 are less than 1% away from reclaiming their record highs, reached last Friday, amid ongoing optimism over the pace of the economic recovery.

Shares of Southwest Airlines rose 1.7% after the carrier said leisure travel bookings continue to rise and that it expects to break even “or better” by June. Southwest also posted a narrower-than-expected loss for the first quarter.

Dow Inc. fell more than 4% even after the chemicals company topped earnings and revenue estimates for the first quarter. The stock is still up more than 10% for 2021.

American Airlines erased earlier gains and turned negative even after the company said its cash flow turned positive by the end of the quarter, excluding debt payments.

The market remained lower after a better-than-expected reading on weekly jobless claims. The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday that first-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 547,000, which was below the Dow Jones estimate for 603,000.

So far, companies have largely topped Wall Street expectations this earnings season, but strong first-quarter results are not lifting the market higher after a run to records pushed valuations near multiyear highs.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys slipped, raising yields to 1.58% from Wednesday’s 1.56%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained 18 cents to $61.53 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices retreated $11.20 to $1,781.90 U.S. an ounce.

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