Stocks Near Unchanged by Noon

Brookfield Renewable, First Majestic in Focus

Stock indices in Toronto remained staunchly above the breakeven line as morning became afternoon on Friday, but were set for its first monthly loss since April, as concerns around the economic impact of rising coronavirus infections drowned optimism over domestic stimulus measures.

The TSX approached Friday noon ahead 15.84 points to 15,928.10.

The Canadian dollar sank 0.31 cents to 74.59 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Brookfield Renewable Partners which jumped $3.03, or 5% to $63.68, after Scotiabank raised its price target on the stock, and BlackBerry, which rose two cents to $6.38.

First Majestic Silver fell 82 cents, or 6%, the most on the TSX, to $12.86, as it weighs options for its Mexican tax dispute case, while the second biggest decliner was Osisko Mining Inc, down eight cents, or 2.3%, to $3.42.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Just Energy Group, down 11 cents, or 14.9%, to 63 cents, Bombardier, unchanged at 34 cents, and Kinross Gold, down 12 cents, or 1%, to $11.67.

The federal government on Thursday had proposed boosting a weekly payout for the unemployment that would replace emergency COVID-19 income support that ends this weekend.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 4.83 points midday to 691.14.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups remained negative late Friday morning, with energy going skidding 2.2%, while gold and materials each slid 0.6%.

The five gainers were led by information technology, up 1.4%, utilities, ahead 0.9%, and industrials, chugging along 0.6%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks rose slightly on Friday as tech shares recovered some of their losses for the month. However, Wall Street was still headed for its fourth consecutive week of losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average came from deep in a first-hour dungeon to reclaim 90.8 points and pause for lunch at 26,906.24.

The S&P 500 recovered 18.11 points to 3,264.70.

The NASDAQ added 123.8 points, or 1.2%, to 10,796.07.

Shares of Amazon rose 1.1% and Facebook gained 0.6%. Apple advanced 2.3% and Microsoft rose 1.7%. Cruise operator Carnival sailed along 4.4%, while competitors Norwegian Cruise Line gained 6.7%, and Royal Caribbean was up 4%, after an upgrade from a Barclays analyst.

For the week, the Dow entered Friday’s session down 3% while the S&P 500 has lost 2.2%. The NASDAQ is down 1.1% week to date. This would mark the benchmarks’ longest weekly slide since August 2019.

The major averages have had a tough month, with the S&P 500 falling more than 7% in September. The Dow has dropped 5.7% over that time period and the NASDAQ is down 9.4% month to date.

House Democrats are reportedly preparing a $2.4-trillion relief package that they could vote on as soon as next week. The bill would include enhanced unemployment benefits and aid to airlines, but the overall price tag remains well above what Republican leaders have said they are willing to spend.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained, driving yields down to 0.66% from Thursday’s 0.67%, Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices deducted 24 cents to $40.07 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dipped $10.40 to $1,866.50 U.S. an ounce.