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TSX Flat Ahead of Long Weekend

Canada's main stock index was largely unchanged on Friday as worries over the economic impact of the deadly coronavirus outbreak kept investors at bay ahead of a long weekend.

The TSX Composite Index remained positive 17.57 points Friday noon at 17,838.74

The Canadian dollar gained 0.10 cents to 75.47 cents U.S.

Markets are to be shuttered Monday for Family Day.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was cannabis company Canopy Growth which jumped $3.87, or 15%, to $27.95, after posting a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss. Rival Aphria rose 28 cents, or 5.1%, to $5.76.

Agnico Eagle Mines fell $10.14, or 13%, the most on the TSX, to $68.15, after it cut its full-year 2020 production outlook. The second-biggest decliner was MTY Food Group Inc, down $5.15, or 8.6%, to $54.58, after it postponed its quarterly results following allegations made by a whistleblower employee.

Economically speaking, the Canadian Real Estate Association said actual sales, not seasonally adjusted, rose 11.5% from a year earlier, while the group's Home Price Index was up 4.7% from January last year.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange moved forward 1.19 points to 572.19.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were in positive territory midday, with health-care racing 5.7%, while utilities and real estate were each up 0.8%

The five laggards were weighed most by materials, down 1%, communications, staggering 0.7%, and energy, doffing 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks traded along the flatline on Friday as Wall Street digested the release of disappointing consumer data and strong earnings to end a solid week of gains.

The Dow Jones Industrials approached Friday's noon hour down 37.55 points to 29,385.76,

The S&P 500 inched up 0.53 points to 3,374.51

The NASDAQ gained 6.84 points to 9,718.80.

Still, Wall Street is headed for strong weekly gains even as investors grapple with a rising number of reported coronavirus cases. The S&P 500 and Dow are each up more than 1% for the week through Thursday's close. The NASDAQ, meanwhile, has risen 2%.

Markets are closed Monday for the Presidents' Day holiday.

In the economic docket, the U.S. Commerce Department reported core retail sales, which exclude autos, gas, building materials and food services, were unchanged last month. The department added clothing-store sales had their biggest one-month decline since 2009.

Concerns over the weak data were partially offset as Nvidia led a number of companies in reporting better-than-expected earnings.

Nvidia shares rose more than 7% after its quarterly results beat analyst expectations. Expedia got an 11.7% boost from its earnings while

Roku gained 0.2%. Newell Brands, meanwhile, climbed 4.7%.

More than 77% of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings thus far, with roughly 72% of them beating analyst expectations.

China's National Health Commission on Friday reported an additional 121 deaths nationwide, with 5,090 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The flu-like virus was found to have killed a total of 1,380 people in mainland China as of Thursday evening after the health commission said it had removed 108 deaths from the total figure due to a double-count in Hubei province — the epicenter of the global coronavirus outbreak.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury gained a bit of ground, lowering yields to 1.58% from Thursday's 1.62%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 42 cents to $51.84 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices took on $5.80 to $1,584.60 U.S. an ounce.

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