Canada's main stock index was little changed on Thursday as strong gains in consumer discretionary shares helped offset losses in the heavyweight financial and energy sectors.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index remained negative 21.26 points to greet noon at 15,038.57
The Canadian dollar leaped 0.75 cents to 82.48 cents U.S.
A sharp rise in consumer discretionary stocks was led by Dollarama Inc. It added 8.4% to $132.04 after the company posted stronger-than-expected quarterly profits.
Hudson's Bay Co climbed 5.8% to $12.90, extending Wednesday's gains after an activist shareholder expressed the belief that a highly qualified third-party buyer had "serious interest" in acquiring the department store operator's European chain.
Barrick Gold rose 1% to $22.05 while Kinross Gold rallied 3.9% to $5.92.
Among financials, Manulife Financial slid 1.5% to $23.56, and Sun Life Financial declined 1.1% to $46.31.
Economically speaking, Statistics Canada reported Canadian municipalities issued $7.9 billion worth of building permits in July, down 3.5% from June and the first decrease since March 2017.
Also, Western University's IVEY School of Business declared its Purchasing Managers Index faded to 56.3 in August from 60 in July, but ahead of a 52.3 reading in August 2016.
The monthly index canvasses purchasing managers of companies as to their buying habits over the previous month, and any reading over 50 constitutes expansion, while under 50 indicates contraction.
The TSX Venture Exchange inched down 0.35 points by noon to 773.69
Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were up by noon, led by gold and consumer discretionary stocks, each ahead 1.5%, while health-care improved 1.2%.
The five laggards were hampered by energy, down 0.8%, while telecoms and financials were each down 0.6%.
U.S. stocks slipped on Thursday after banking stocks led declines and Disney dragged on the Dow after warning investors about profits.
The Dow Jones Industrials were negative 38.73 points, to 21,768.91, with Goldman Sachs and Disney weighing down the index.
The S&P 500 lost 2.65 points to 2,462.89, with financials and telecommunications leading the decline.
The NASDAQ moved higher 3.51 points to 6,396.31, with Microsoft and Amazon trading higher.
Bank of America, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs were all down more than 1%, dragging down the major indexes.
GE shares fell more than 2% after JPMorgan reaffirmed its underweight rating, saying earnings and business trends continue to deteriorate.
Its shares have performed poorly this year, declining 21% through Wednesday versus the S&P 500's 10% return.
Disney shares also fell over 2% after CEO Bob Iger said the company will report earnings-per-share this year "roughly in line" with what Disney generated in fiscal year 2016.
Financials are losing their summer gains as interest rates decline. Goldman, which reached its highest level since March on Aug. 7, has since fallen off 7.7%
Stocks rose slightly on Wednesday after President Donald Trump signaled his approval for a Democratic plan to package hurricane relief money for Hurricane Harvey to a three-month extension of both government funding and the debt ceiling.
On the data front, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday that non-farm productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, rose at a 1.5% annualized rate. Productivity was previously reported to have increased at a 0.9% pace in the April-June period. It grew at a 0.1% rate in the first quarter.
Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were up, lowering yields to 2.05% from Wednesday's 2.07%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices let go of 11 cents to $49.05.
Gold prices hiked $13.10 to $1,352.10 U.S. an ounce.