Negative Start to Week

Maple Leaf, Canfor in Focus

Equities in Toronto fell on Monday, as heavyweight energy shares declined on lower oil prices amid easing U.S.-Iran tensions and as investors awaited details of a Phase-One U.S.-China trade deal expected to be signed soon.

The TSX Composite Index began the week lower by 26.85 points to 17,207.64

The Canadian dollar gained 0.08 cents to 76.61 cents U.S.

Maple Leaf Foods CEO Michael McCain criticized the U.S. government for escalating tensions in the Middle East, after an Iranian missile accidentally shot down a Ukrainian airliner killing 176 people onboard, including an employee’s family.

Maple Leaf shares started out Monday off 15 cents to $24.93.

CIBC raised the rating on Canfor Corp. to outperform from neutral. Canfor picked up four cents to $12.79.

CIBC raised the rating on Cascades to outperform from neutral. Cascades improved eight cents to $11.39.

CIBC cut the rating on West Fraser Timber to neutral from outperform. West Fraser shares lost 82 cents, or 1.4%. to $57.37.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange slid 4.85 points to 577.50

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were down in the session’s first hour, as energy reversed 1.7%, health-care ailed 1.1%, and gold lost 0.9% of its lustre.

The four gainers were led by information technology, growing 0.7%, industrials, up 0.5%, and utilities, eking up 0.04%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks opened higher on Monday, resuming the rally that started last week as geopolitical tensions dissipated while investors felt optimistic about U.S.-China trade relations.

The Dow Jones Industrials picked up 41.38 points to 28,865.15.

The S&P 500 increased 7.28 points to 3,272.63

The NASDAQ recovered 34.19 points to 9,213.05

Goldman Sachs gained 1.2%, and Cisco Systems rose 0.7%, , to lead the Dow higher. The S&P 500 was lifted by the tech and communication services sectors, which advanced at least 0.4% each.

Tesla shares rose 4.7% after an analyst at Oppenheimer hiked his price target on the stock to $612 per share from $385 per share.

The analyst said Tesla’s "risk tolerance ... and larger ambition than peers are beginning to pose an existential threat to transportation companies that are unable or unwilling to innovate at a faster pace." The stock broke above $500 for the first time ever in early trading.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury slouched, raising yields to 1.86% from Friday’s 1.82%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices rocketed 73 cents to $58.31 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices fell off $9.80 to $1,550.30 U.S. an ounce.