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Stocks Flat at Outset Thursday

Alphabet, AMD in Picture

Canada's main stock index was down a mite on Thursday, as gains in energy shares from higher crude oil prices were offset by losses in heavyweight financials, while investors braced for more U.S. jobs data during the week.

The TSX Composite let go of 12.45 points to open Thursday’s session at 20,261.76.

The Canadian dollar shed 0.10 cents at 73.47 cents U.S.

Laurentian Bank of Canada reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit versus a year ago. Laurentian shares dipped 24 cents to $26.15.

At least two brokerages upgraded their rating on Athabasca Oil, which responded by sprinting 28 cents, or 8.3%, to $3.64.

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada said the value of building permits increased 2.3% in October to $11.2 billion.


The TSX Venture Exchange regained 0.27 points to 534.24.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the red during the first hour, weighed most by health-care, down 1%, while gold waned 0.8%, and communications lost 0.4%.

The four gainers were led by energy, ahead 0.3%, while real-estate and information technology each climbed 2%.


The S&P 500 rose Thursday, attempting to snap a three-day losing streak with traders looking ahead to Friday’s all-important jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrials regained 47.9 points at 36,102.33.

The S&P 500 jumped 32.84 points to 4,582.18.

The NASDAQ popped 150.53 points, or 1.1%, to 14,297.24.

Shares of Google-parent Alphabet gained more than 5% as traders cheered the company’s launch of its Gemini artificial intelligence model. Nvidia added about 1%, and AMD hiked 5%.

Online pet products retailer Chewy slumped more than 11% following a weak forecast for fourth quarter net sales. GameStop shed almost 4% after it reported lower net sales compared to the year-ago period.

The moves come after the Dow and S&P 500 both posted their first three-day losing streaks since October on Wednesday. Despite recent performance, the three major indexes remain poised to finish the fourth quarter and calendar year higher, underscoring the strength of the rally seen earlier.

The job market has been a focus of investors this week amid a series of mixed data releases.

Weekly jobless claims released Thursday were below economist expectations and a reading of continuing jobless claims declined, indicating that the pace of layoffs hasn’t increased. The U.S. 10-year treasury yield popped on the back of the figures, reflecting concerns around the strength of the labor market despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to tame inflation.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury swooned, raising yields to 4.15% from Wednesday’s 4.12%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 67 cents to $70.05 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dipped $2.70 to $2,045.20.