Stocks finish mostly higher, posting solid weekly gains

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 118 points, or 0.5%, to 24,354.

Technology got a 2.8-per-cent lift as Kinaxis Inc. rose 5.2 per cent and Shopify Inc. padded its position as Canada's most valuable company with its shares gaining 3.2 per cent.

North American markets plodded sideways through the midday trade, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index essentially unchanged and the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.4 per cent.

The National Association of Realtors said sales of previously occupied USA homes plunged 17.8 percent in April as the housing market remained hobbled by the coronavirus shutdowns.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) was up 3% after reporting results and guidance that topped estimates, led by solid growth in its data center business.

U.S. markets will be closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

USA stock futures fell early Friday morning after a decline in some major tech stocks, along with dismal employment data and rising tensions with China, pushed the market lower during regular trading.

Wall Street looks poised for a negative open on Friday after China's ruling Communist Party revealed details of a sweeping national security law it intends to enforce on Hong Kong, overriding the constitution of the global financial hub and escalating geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Full details from Adam Silver’s call with National Basketball Association players
However, the source added Silver "informed the league's desire to resume the season, but only if absolutely safe for all". The NBA is considering all option to salvage this season.

Lightspeed was followed by miner Wesdome Gold Mines, which rose 30 cents, or 2.4%, to $13.04, as rising Sino-U.S. tension drew concerned investors to safe havens.

China scrapped its economic growth target for 2020 in a stark acknowledgment of the challenges facing the world's second-largest economy, sending crude oil and metal prices sharply lower.

Investors were encouraged throughout the week as all 50 states relaxed some of their coronavirus-induced lockdown restrictions ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. China also decided not to set a GDP target for 2020 as the coronavirus continues to inflict damage on the world's second-largest economy, following a bill the Senate passed earlier in the week that would potentially delist Chinese stocks from US exchanges. Benchmark U.S. crude oil was down 3.6% to $32.70 a barrel. Alberta's Western Canadian Select fell about two-and-a-half per cent to US$24.02 per barrel.

Despite Friday's relatively muted moves, all three major indexes are poised for weekly gains of at least 2.5%, in part driven by optimism that coronavirus vaccines will be available later this year.

Oil prices retreated, with USA benchmark West Texas Intermediate down about three per cent to trade at US$32.85 per barrel after threatening to breach the US$35 level earlier in the week.

Although the S&P 500 Index settled lower on Thursday, its losses were offset by an upbeat outlook from retailer TJX.

Amazon fell 2.05 per cent yesterday after touching a record intraday high earlier in the day.

The Canadian dollar was under pressure against its American counterpart, down almost half a cent to 71.22 cents U.S.

  • Darren Santiago