Stocks Flat in First Hour

Lithium Americas, Teck in Focus

Equities in Toronto edged higher at open on Wednesday as heavyweight energy stocks advanced, while data showing a plunge in domestic retail sales in April and May capped the gains.

The TSX Composite index squeezed ahead 9.04 points to begin Wednesday at 20,209.69.

The Canadian dollar forged up 0.03 cents to 81.57 cents U.S.

In the early going, Lithium Americas jumped 53 cents, or 3.1%, to $17.90 while miner Teck Resources, up 97 cents, or 3.6%, to $27.74.

In the economic docket, Statistics Canada reported retail sales were down 5.7% to $54.8 billion in April. The agency went on to say the decline coincided with the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and was the largest decline in retail sales since the first wave of the pandemic hit in April 2020.

Moreover, the Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would open the door to legalize betting on single games or sporting events, which is currently illegal except for on horse racing.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange rocketed 9.58 points, or 1%, to 948.77.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the red to begin Wednesday, with consumer staples fading 1.5%, consumer discretionary stocks and communications each off 0.7%.

The four gainers were led by energy, soaring 1.6%, health-care, better by 1%, and materials, up 0.8%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday led by energy shares, as the market’s comeback rally extended into a third day.

The Dow Jones Industrials added 37.61 points to 33,983.19.

The S&P 500 moved forward 9.89 points to 4,256.33

The NASDAQ popped 61.8 points to 14,315.17, after closing at a record in the previous session.

Energy names including Exxon Mobil and Chevron climbed as oil prices continued to rise. Brent crude topped $75 a barrel to hit a two-year high on Wednesday.

Many major technology names also traded in the green. Tesla jumped 4.5%, while Netflix gained over 1%. Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet also traded higher.

The S&P 500 has risen 2% this week, bouncing back from a selloff last week triggered by the Federal Reserve’s surprise policy shift. The central bank projected much higher inflation for the year than previously, while signaling two rate increases as soon as 2023.

For June, the S&P 500 has picked up 1.2%, and NASDAQ Composite is in the green 4%. The Dow, however, is in the red for the month amid weakness in Caterpillar and JPMorgan.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testified before the House of Representatives on Tuesday, which appeared to lift sentiment as he reiterated that inflation pressures will be temporary.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys were unchanged, keeping yields at Tuesday’s 1.47%.

Oil prices picked up 95 cents to $73.80 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices recovered $15.60 to $1,793 U.S. an ounce.