Stocks Flat at Open

Virgin Galactic in Focus

Equities in Toronto moved slightly higher Thursday, supported by a slew of robust earnings reports from companies including Canadian Natural Resources and business jet maker Bombardier.

The TSX eked up 11.23 points in Thursday’s first hour at 19,557.17.

The Canadian dollar fell 0.12 cents to 77.67 cents U.S.

Canadian Natural Resources reported its quarterly profit more than doubled, as crude prices soared on tighter energy supplies due to the Ukraine conflict.

Shares in Natural Resources grabbed 22 cents to $67.12.

Bombardier posted a smaller second-quarter loss, helped by steady demand and lower interest expenses, while Thomson Reuters reported higher operating profit and raised its full-year revenue forecast.

Bombardier began Thursday up $2.56, or 10.9%, to $25.99.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reports this country’s merchandise exports increased 2% in June, mostly on crude oil and gold exports.

Meanwhile, imports rose 1.7%, mainly on energy products. As a result, Canada's merchandise trade surplus with the world widened from $4.8 billion in May to $5 billion in June.

Elsewhere, building permits declined 1.5% in June to $11.9 billion, mainly due to the non-residential sector, which dropped 10.4% to $3.7 billion, after posting its second highest monthly value.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange edged higher 2.3 points to 655.20.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher in the first hour, with consumer discretionary stocks up 1.8%, while gold and industrials each climbed 0.9%.

The four laggards were weighed most by energy, tumbling 1.7%, consumer staples, surrendering 0.5%, and health-care, off 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrials slipped Thursday as investors wait for new economic data on the labor market that will give further information about a potential U.S. recession.

The 30-stock index took a step backward from Wednesday’s monster gains, losing 23.54 points first thing Thursday morning to 32,788.96

The S&P 500 captured 5.79 points to 4,160.96,

The NASDAQ Composite gathered 38.03 points to 12,706.19.

Investors will get another batch of earnings on Thursday. Virgin Galactic, AMC Entertainment and Beyond Meat are scheduled to report after the bell.

Next, all eyes are on the July nonfarm payrolls report schedule to be released Friday. The report will show whether the strength of the U.S. job market.

Treasury prices gained ground Thursday, lowering yields to 2.67%, from Wednesday’s 2.71%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices doffed 89 cents to $89.77 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices powered ahead $21.60 to $1,798.00 U.S. an ounce.