Stocks Languish By Midday

By Baystreet Stock Market Update

Techs, energy provide biggest weights

Canada’s main stock index fell on Wednesday, weighed down by fears of an escalation in the U.S.-China tariff war and lower oil prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index faded 78.05 points to approach noon at 16,355.96

The Canadian dollar gained 0.12 cents at 76.93 centsU.S.

Top drags among the energy group were shares of Suncor Energy, down 83 cents, or 1.5%, to $53.95, and Enbridge falling 43 cents to $45.77.

Top percentage gainer on the TSX was Enercare, which jumped $9.95, or 52.6% to $28.86, after it said it would be bought by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners for $4.3 billion.

Celestica, which rose 23 cents, or 1.5%, to 15.61, was the second-biggest percentage gainer after the company’s second-quarter results topped analysts’ estimates.

The top laggard on the TSX was Endeavour Mining, which fell 54 cents, or 2.3% to $23.26, followed by shares of Hudbay Minerals, down 28 cents, or 4.1%, to $6.49. The two companies reported quarterly earnings that missed expectations.

On the economic front, the seasonally-adjusted IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 56.9 in July, falling only slightly from June’s survey record high of 57.1 and remained indicative of a strong improvement in overall business conditions.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange slid 0.85 points to 706.06

All but one of the 12 subgroups were negative to start the day, with energy failing 1.2%, materials doffing 1%, and utilities sliding 0.8%.

The lone gainer was in consumer discretionary stocks, up a mere 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

The NASDAQ Composite rose on Wednesday as shares of Apple jumped to a record high on strong quarterly results.

The Dow Jones Industrials fell back, however, by 37.49 points to 25,377.70, with big exporters Caterpillar and 3M lagging.

The S&P 500 went south 4.2 points to 2,812.09, as industrials dropped nearly 1%.

The NASDAQ strengthened 22.52 points to 7,694.92, off its highs of the morning.

The tech-heavy index rose 0.1% as Apple jumped more than 5%. Apple reported earnings and revenue for the previous quarter that topped analyst expectations.

Apple’s gains gave the broader tech sector a much-needed boost after disappointing quarterly numbers from Facebook and Twitter sent it down sharply. Since July 26, tech has dropped 5.1% through Tuesday’s close. The sector rose 0.7% on Wednesday.

Bank shares followed the benchmark yield higher as J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley all rose at least 1%.

Earnings season continued Wednesday, with Restaurant Brands, AMC Entertainment and Generac among the companies that reported before the bell. Tesla is set to release after the close Wednesday.

Wall Street also digested strong employment data from ADP and Moody’s Analytics. The two companies said the private payrolls in the U.S. grew by 219,000 in July, more than the 185,000 gain forecast by analysts.

July’s job gains were the best since February, when 241,000 jobs were added. The report from ADP and Moody’s comes ahead of the U.S. government’s monthly non-farm payrolls report, which is scheduled for release Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The Federal Reserve concludes a two-day meeting on monetary policy on Wednesday, with an announcement scheduled for 2 p.m. ET. While market-watchers are not expecting a rise in interest rates, discussion on trade or where the Fed is thinking of heading could be on the table.

Media reports circulated Wednesday that the Trump administration was looking at the possibility of slapping a 25% tariff on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods — after initially setting them at 10%.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S.Treasury dived, raising yields to 3% from Tuesday’s 2.96%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were down $1.22 to $67.54U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slid $5.40 to $1,228.20U.S. an ounce.

This article provided by NewsEdge.