Stocks Flat at Open

Indexes on Canadian stocks markets fell on Thursday, weighed down by energy stocks tracking lower oil prices as a renewed surge in coronavirus infections in some Asian countries raised concerns about demand.

The TSX dipped 1.72 points to open Thursday at 19,309.02

The Canadian dollar gained 0.31 cents to 81.82 cents U.S.

Bombardier reported a 43% increase in quarterly adjusted profit, helped by a recovery in business aviation, as rising COVID-19 vaccinations encourage wealthy travelers to fly again.

Bombardier shares squeezed ahead three cents, or 3.4%, to 92 cents.

Magna International reported a 136% rise in quarterly profit and raised its full-year revenue outlook, as strong demand for vehicles encouraged its customers to order more body structures, chassis and power trains. Magna shares obtained 81 cents to $115.85.

Canadian Natural Resources reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, buoyed by higher oil prices as COVID-19 vaccine rollouts lifted demand. Natural Resources shares dropped three cents to $39.81.

Citigroup cut the price target on Ballard Power Systems to $23 from $33. Ballard shares tumbled 74 cents, or 3.9%, to $18.47.

Scotiabank raised the target price on Russel Metals to $32 from $28.5. Russel shares picked up 94 cents, or 3.1%, to $31.48.

BMO raised the price target on Constellation Software to $2,000 from $1,850. Shares in Constellation shares strengthened $16.00 to $1,825.00.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange added 2.83 points to 948.52.

Seven of the 12 subgroups moved higher to begin the session, led by energy, jumping 2.7%, industrials, stronger 1.2%, and materials up 1%.

The five laggards were weighed most by information technology, sliding 1%, while utilities lost 0.6%, and real-estate dipped 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks held steady on Thursday as investors awaited Friday’s highly anticipated jobs report to gauge the pace of the labour-market

recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 53.7 points above Wednesday’s all-time high to 34,284.04.

The S&P 500 sank 2.58 points to 4,164.01.

The NASDAQ Composite slid 53.2 points to 13,529.22.

The muted action came despite a better-than-expected reading on jobless claims. First-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 498,000 for the week ended March 1, hitting a fresh pandemic-era low and better than a Dow Jones estimate of 527,000.

The data came one day before April’s jobs report is released on Friday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect a total of 978,000 payrolls to be added last month and the unemployment rate is expected to fall to 5.8% from 6%.

PayPal shares jumped 1.5% to lead tech names after the company posted better-than-expected earnings and said revenue last quarter surged 31%.

Etsy tanked by 11% after warning that sales will slow as the pandemic boost wanes.

The busiest week of earnings is now in the rearview mirror, but a number of companies have yet to provide their quarterly updates.

Dropbox, Expedia, Roku, Beyond Meat, Shake Shack and Square will report after the market closes.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys gained ground, weighing yields to 1.58% from Wednesday’s 1.57%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices docked nine cents to $65.54 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices brightened $8.60 to $1,792.90 U.S. an ounce.