Energy, Cannabis Carry TSX Higher by Noon

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A rally in energy and cannabis firms put Canada's main stock index on course for its fourth straight session of gains on Wednesday, even as the wider sentiment remained cautious ahead of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest meeting.

The S&P/TSX stayed afloat 91.98 points to pause for lunch at 20,378.18

The Canadian dollar moved backward 0.06 cents to 77.92 cents U.S.

Pot producers Canopy Growth grew 17 cents, or 2.8%, to $6.23, Tilray Brands up nine cents to $1.7%, to $5.53. Aurora Cannabis acquired a nickel each, or 1.5%, to $3.32.

The financials sector also made people stand up and take notice as Bank of Nova Scotia jumped $2.18, or 2.7%, to $83.55, and Bank of Montreal climbed 37 cents to $133.42. The two banks kicked off second-quarter earnings for the sector with better-than-expected profits.

Golds fared not so well, as Osisko Gold skidded 52 cents, or 3.5%, to $14.68, while Novagold Resources surrendered 27 cents, or 3.6%, to $7.18.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 1.59 points to 699.07.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive midday, with health-care improving 2.2%, while energy and consumer discretionaries 1.4% each.

The three laggards proved to be gold, sliding 1.2%, materials, off 0.8%, and real-estate, nuzzling into the red 0.03%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 rose Wednesday as traders awaited the Federal Reserve’s release of its policy meeting from earlier this month.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 64.14 points to break for noon at 31,992.76.

The broader market recouped 17.40 points to 3,958.61.

The NASDAQ Composite jumped 90.46 points to 11,354.91.

Investors are awaiting the latest meeting minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee, which are scheduled to be released at 2 p.m. ET.

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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.”

Nordstrom shares jumped more than 11% Wednesday after the retailer surpassed sales expectations and raised its full-year outlook. Dick’s Sporting Goods gained 8% after topping earnings and revenue estimates for its fiscal first quarter.

Best Buy climbed 6% despite getting a downgrade from Barclays, which followed a mixed earnings report Tuesday in which the electronics retailer cut its yearly outlook.

Retailers have been on an earnings spree since last week that has held the attention of investors anxious to see how companies are managing sky-high inflation.

Investors and analysts have pointed out that what has so far been a retail wreck reflects a shift in consumers’ demand for services rather than goods, and some have suggested stocks may be getting overly punished for their results.

Shares of Kohl’s also surged 15% following a report that bidders are still competing to acquire the retailer.

Elsewhere, Intuit jumped more than 5% after the tax software company reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, and raised its current quarter outlook. Tech stocks led market losses in the previous session, following a warning of slowing growth from social media company Snap.

Homebuilder Toll Brothers also posted quarterly results that beat analyst expectations, sending the stock up more than 3%. Lennar, D.R. Horton and Pultegroup were also among the S&P 500's top gainers Wednesday.

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. Costco will report on Thursday.

Treasury prices settled, bringing yields back up to Tuesday’s 2.76%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices scaled back 36 cents to $109.41 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dropped $21.80 to $1,843.60 U.S. an ounce.

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