Futures Fairly Flat on Oil Prices

Aritzia, Softchoice in Focus

Futures for Canada's main stock index inched higher on Friday, aided by gains in oil prices, while the benchmark index was on track for weekly gains on stronger commodities.

The S&P/TSX Composite decreased 102.04 points to close Thursday’s session at 21,292.96.

The Canadian dollar lost 0.03 cents to 79.91 cents U.S.

March futures eked higher 0.1% Friday.

Scotiabank raised the target price on Aritzia to $65.00 from $49.00

Scotiabank also raised the target price on Linamar to $105.00 from $100.00

Finally, Scotiabank initiated coverage on Softchoice with a sector perform rating

On the economic front, national home sales activity decreased by 9.9% from year-ago levels in December, according to figures released Friday by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

The International Energy Agency says Canada, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, can be a key global supplier for years to come providing it sticks to promises to sharply cut emissions.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange caved 16.48 points, or 1.8%, Thursday to 907.04.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock futures retreated during early morning trading on Friday, as investors sorted through earnings from the major banks.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials decreased 214 points, or 0.6%, to 35,775.

Futures for the S&P 500 ditched 29.25 points, or 0.6%, to 4,622.75.

Futures for the NASDAQ slumped 124.25 points, or 0.8%, to 15,366.

Bank stocks, which had outperformed in recent weeks as interest rates moved higher, were split in pre-market trading as their reports appeared to underwhelm investors despite strong headline numbers.

JPMorgan Chase, the number-one U.S. bank by assets, showed profit and revenue that topped estimates, but shares fell 4% in the pre-market. The company’s earnings were helped by a large credit reserve release.

Citigroup’s stock fell 3% after the bank beat revenue estimates but showed a 26% decline in profits.

Meanwhile, shares of Wells Fargo rose 2% after the bank’s revenue topped expectations. CEO Charles Scharf said in a release that loan demand picked up in the second half of the year.

Money-management behemoth BlackRock posted earnings that beat on bottom-line earnings but missed slightly on top-line revenue. Shares edged lower premarket, continuing a downward drift in 2022 that has seen BlackRock’s stock down more than 5%.

Elsewhere, shares of paint maker Sherwin-Williams after the company warned that fourth-quarter earnings would miss estimates, citing issues in sourcing materials and staffing during the omicron surge.

Casino stocks were a bright spot on Friday morning. Las Vegas Sands surged 9.4% in premarket trading, while Wynn Resorts gained 8% and MGM Resorts International advanced 3.5%.

The jump came after Macau’s government announced it would allow just six casino licenses in the gambling hub. The companies rising Friday are among those that already are operating there.

The early market action follows a day in which a slew of Federal Reserve speakers said they expect to start raising interest rates in March. Fed Governor Lael Brainard remarked during her Senate confirmation hearing that rates increases are coming

A slew of economic data will also be released Friday, including December retail sales numbers. Economists are expecting the report to show a decline of 0.1%, according to estimates compiled by Dow Jones. During November, sales rose by 0.3%, slower than the 0.9% economists had been expecting.

Industrial production numbers will also be reported, with Wall Street expecting a 0.2% rise. Consumer sentiment figures will be released later Friday morning.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 1.3%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong declined 0.2%.

Oil prices were stationery at $82.12 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices acquired $2.10 to $1,823.50 U.S. an ounce.