Stocks Remain Flat by Noon

Empire, Nexgen Merit Attention


Equities in Canada’s largest centre were flat on Wednesday as data showed domestic retail sales plunged in April and May, while energy stocks advanced on stronger crude prices.

The TSX Composite index faded 26.53 points to greet lunch hour Wednesday at 20,174.12.

The Canadian dollar forged up 0.11 cents to 81.34 cents U.S.

By noon EDT, Lithium Americas jumped 49 cents, or 2.8%, to $17.86 while miner Teck Resources, up 81 cents, or 3%, to $27.58.

Empire Company fell $1.43, or 3.4%, the most on the TSX, to $40.72, after the conglomerate warned that it expects the pandemic to continue affecting the company during 2022, including its same-store sales.

The second-biggest decliner was uranium miner Nexgen Energy, down three cents to $5.22.

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 8.18 points to 947.37.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the red midday, with consumer staples fading 1.1%, utilities down 0.7%, and communications off 0.5%

The four gainers were led by energy, ahead 0.9%, materials, up 0.6%, and health-care better 0.5%.

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 subtracted 16.48 points to 33,929.10.

The S&P 500 moved forward 3.82 points to 4,250.26

The NASDAQ climbed 33.07 points to 14,286.26, 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. Diamondback Energy and Occidental Petroleum jumped about 4% each.

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

The S&P 500 has risen 2% this week, bouncing back from a sell-off 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 and Nasdaq Composite are in the green, rising 1.2% and 4%, respectively. 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 lower, raising yields to 1.49% from Tuesday’s 1.47%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices picked up 76 cents to $73.61 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices recovered $9.70 to $1,787.10 U.S. an ounce.