Flat Start Foreseen for Markets

Banks in Focus

Futures for equities in Canada were little changed on Wednesday as optimism around stronger crude prices was countered by weakness in metals, while investors remained cautious ahead of the U.S. Fed meeting minutes' release.

The S&P/TSX strengthened 88.59 points to conclude Tuesday at 20,286.20

June futures were flat Wednesday.

The Canadian dollar slid 0.28 cents to 77.7 cents U.S.

Bank of Nova Scotia beat analysts' estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday, helped by continued declines in loan-loss provisions and higher revenues from its Canadian banking and international business.

Bank of Montreal beat analysts' estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday, on higher interest income and lower credit-loss provisions offsetting rising expenses and lower wealth management and capital markets earnings.

JP Morgan raised the target price on Enbridge to $62.00 from $61.00

Canaccord Genuity cut the target price to $9.00 from $10.00.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 1.43 points Tuesday to 700.66.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stock futures were lower Wednesday after a sharp decline in the Nasdaq Composite during the previous session, while traders awaited the Federal Reserve’s release of its policy meeting from earlier this month.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials stumbled 128 points, or 0.4%, Wednesday to 31,752.

Futures for the S&P 500 lost 16.5 points, or 0.4%, to 3,924.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite index moved backward 65.25 points, or 0.6%, to 11,705.75.

Dick’s Sporting Goods shares tumbled more than 17% in pre-market trading, despite topping earnings and revenue estimates for its fiscal first quarter, after the retailer cut its outlook for the year amid rising inflation and ongoing supply chain challenges.

Best Buy slid more than 4% premarket after Barclays downgraded the shares, following a mixed earnings report Tuesday in which the electronics retailer cut its yearly outlook.

Apparel retailers Ralph Lauren and Under Armour were also among top decliners in early trading. Nike fell 2.8% after the company chose not to renew its franchise agreement with Russian retail giant Inventive Retail Group.

On the flipside, Nordstrom shares added more than 4% after the retailer surpassed sales expectations and raised its full-year outlook. The retailer experienced a surge in demand from shoppers refreshing their closets for “long-awaited occasions.”

Homebuilder Toll Brothers also posted quarterly results that beat analyst expectations, sending the stock up more than 3% in the premarket.

Wednesday’s moves came after a downbeat session for the NASDAQ, which tumbled following a warning of slowing growth from social media company Snap.

Snap’s warning dinged other social media and tech stocks, including Facebook parent Meta, Twitter, and Google parent Alphabet.

Traders will continue to parse through earnings reports this week to see how companies are handling inflationary pressures. Snowflake and Nvidia are set to post quarterly reports after the bell.

On the economic front, investors are awaiting the latest meeting minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee. At the May 4 meeting, the Fed hiked rates by half a percentage point, with Chair Jerome Powell saying that inflation is “much too high and we understand the hardship it is causing. We’re moving expeditiously to bring it back down.”

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dipped 0.3% Wednesday. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 0.3%.

Oil prices regained $1.38 to $111.15 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices fell $11.70 to $1,853.70 U.S. an ounce.