Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Equities

Canada’s main stock index was treading water in early treading early Tuesday with gains in the energy sector being offset by weakness in materials stocks. South of the border, the S&P 500 touched a record high helped by strong earnings from companies like General Electric and Johnson & Johnson.

Story continues below advertisement

At 9:39 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 4.66 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 17,901.36.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.5 points, or 0.03 per cent, at the open to 30968.55. The S&P 500 rose 7.6 points, or 0.20 per cent, at the open to 3862.96, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 45.7 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 13681.717 at the opening bell.

Markets continue to keep a close eye on stimulus talks in Washington, with Democrats holding a narrow majority and Republicans voicing concern about the size of the proposed plan. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’s looking to pass the relief bill “in the next month, month and a half,” according to reports.

“The rally since November has slowed noticeably, but it has yet to move to the downside, and instead most indices are content to tread water, with a decent earnings season in the U.S. and expectations of fiscal stimulus providing a reason to hang around the party until the situation improves,” IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp said.

On the corporate side, earnings continue to roll in. Wall Street got results this morning from General Electric, 3M and Johnson & Johnson, among others. After the close, Microsoft reports its latest earnings.

General Electric shares jumped more than 6 per cent in early trading after the company reported a better-than-expected free cash flow for the fourth quarter and forecast 2021 cash flow to be about $2.5-billion to $4.5-billion, as it benefits from a recovery at its power and renewable energy units.

On Bay Street, grocer Metro raised its quarterly dividend to 25 cents per share, up from 22.5 cents. The company reported a profit of $191.2-million or 76 cents per diluted share for its first quarter, up from a profit of $170.2-million or 67 cents per diluted share in the same quarter a year earlier.

Story continues below advertisement

After the close of trading, Canadian National Railway will release results after the markets close.

Oversea, the pan-European STOXX 600 gained 0.69 per cent in morning trading with financial services stocks among the winners. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.51 per cent. Germany’s DAX was up 1.3 per cent and France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.89 per cent.

In Asia, markets had a weaker finish with Japan’s Nikkei losing 0.96 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropping 2.55 per cent with shares of tech giant Tencent falling more than 6 per cent a day after its valuation hit US$1-trillion for the first time.

Commodities

Crude prices edged higher in early going with OPEC compliance with current production caps and other production curbs helping offset concerns about potential delays in U.S. stimulus.

The day range on Brent is US$55.39 to US$56.24. The range on West Texas Intermediate is US$52.29 to US$53.11.

Story continues below advertisement

On Monday, new figures showed compliance by OPEC and its allies with current production caps averaged 85 per cent this month, indicating improved adherence to the measures.

At the same time, output from the giant Tengiz field in Kazakhstan was disrupted by a power cut on Jan. 17, reducing supply, according to a Reuters report.

“Crude prices remain surprisingly stable despite the [broader] market struggles,” Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said.

“Still, upward price momentum has stalled as concerns about COVID vaccine efficacy and rollout are also weighing oil demand risks.”

Gold prices, meanwhile, edged lower.

Spot gold fell 0.2% to US$1,852.30 per ounce. U.S. gold futures eased 0.3% to US$1,849.60.

Story continues below advertisement

“People are going into bonds and dollar, shying away from gold,” Mr. Innes said.

Currencies

The Canadian dollar slipped in early going as its U.S. counterpart rose against global currency with investors seeking out safer holdings amid concerns over the progress of the U.S. stimulus package and COVID-19 lockdowns in some regions.

The day range on the loonie is 78.24 US cents to 78.51 US cents.

There were no major Canadian economic reports on the calendar Tuesday.

“There is little apparent conviction behind the CAD drop at the moment; crude is firm and equity market trends are somewhat mixed and there is little ‘new”' news on the domestic front to weigh significantly on the CAD this morning,” Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist with Scotiabank, said.

Story continues below advertisement

On global markets, the U.S. dollar index managed its best level in a week as trading took a cautious tone.

Against a basket of its rivals, the U.S. dollar rose 0.2% to 90.65, its highest level since Jan. 20, according to figures from Reuters. The index has risen 1.6 per cent in the past three weeks.

The euro, which fell on Monday after the Ifo survey showed German business morale slumping, is also trading in a range between support around US$1.2050 and resistance at US$1.2215.

More company news

Johnson & Johnson posted an 8.3% rise in quarterly sales and said it would share details from its keenly watched coronavirus vaccine trial soon, as the healthcare conglomerate races to develop a potential single-dose vaccine for COVID-19. Quarterly sales rose to $22.48-billion from $20.75-billion.

3M Co, which makes N95 face masks and Post-it notes, reported a higher quarterly profit on Tuesday, helped by an increase in demand for its healthcare products during the COVID-19 pandemic. Net income attributable to 3M rose 43% to $1.40-million, or $2.38 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. Net sales rose 5.8% to $8.6-billion.

Story continues below advertisement

American Express Co posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, as improved card spending and a reserve release helped it cushion a slump in demand for travel and entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Net income fell to $1.44-billion, or $1.76 per share, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $1.69-billion, or $2.03 per share, a year earlier. Analysts had expected a profit of $1.31 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

UBS reported its highest annual pre-tax profit of the post financial crisis era on Tuesday, as lending to the world’s ultra-rich and bumper trading volumes during the global pandemic triggered a surge in revenue. The results handily beat forecasts, as investment gains and lower provisions for expected credit losses helped the bank post fourth-quarter net profit of $1.708-billion, nearly double the $966-million analysts expected for the quarter.

Economic news

(8:30 a.m. ET) U.S. S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index (20 city) for November.

(9 a.m. ET) U.S. FHFA House Price Index for November.

(10 a.m. ET) U.S. Conference Board Consumer Confident Index for January.

Also: U.S. Fed meeting begins.

With Reuters and The Canadian Press

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies