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Stocks Still Flat by Noon

Alphabet, AMD in Focus

Canada's main stock index was trading flat on Thursday, as gains in energy shares from higher crude oil prices were offset by losses in heavyweight financials, while investors braced for more U.S. jobs data during the week.

The TSX Composite gained 4.42 points midday Thursday at 20,278.63.

The Canadian dollar inched higher 0.03 cents at 73.59 cents U.S.

Laurentian Bank of Canada reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit versus a year ago. Laurentian shares dipped 31 cents, or 1.2%, to $26.08.

At least two brokerages upgraded their rating on Athabasca Oil, which responded by sprinting 26 cents, or 7.7%, to $3.62.

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada said the value of building permits increased 2.3% in October to $11.2 billion.


The TSX Venture Exchange regained 0.41 points to 534.38.

The 12 TSX subgroups were evenly split by noon, with utilities and real-estate each prospering 0.5%, while materials gained 0.3%.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed most by energy and gold, each down 0.4%, while financials lost 0.3%.


The S&P 500 rose Thursday, attempting to snap a three-day losing streak with traders looking ahead to Friday’s all-important jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrials regained 24.07 points at 36,102.33.

The S&P 500 jumped 31.7 points to 4,581.04.

The NASDAQ popped 171.30 points, or 1.2%, to 14,318.01, as technology stocks outperformed.

Shares of Google-parent Alphabet gained almost 5% as traders cheered the company’s launch of its Gemini artificial intelligence model. Nvidia climbed 1% and AMD added more than 7%.

The moves come after the Dow and S&P 500 both posted their first three-day losing streaks since October on Wednesday. Despite recent performance, the three major indexes remain poised to finish the fourth quarter and calendar year higher, underscoring the strength of the rally seen earlier.

The job market has been a focus of investors this week amid a series of mixed data releases.

Weekly jobless claims released Thursday were below economist expectations and a reading of continuing jobless claims declined, indicating that the pace of layoffs hasn’t increased. The U.S. 10-year treasury yield popped on the back of the figures, reflecting concerns around the strength of the labour market despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to tame inflation.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury swooned, raising yields to 4.13% from Wednesday’s 4.12%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained five cents to $69.43 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dipped $4.90 to $2,043.00.