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Stocks Pummeled at Open

Canada's main stock index opened substantially lower on Friday, hit by losses in miners after gold prices dropped more than 1% and as a drop in oil prices triggered a selloff in energy shares.

The S&P/TSX index plummeted 78.44 points to open the week's last session at 16,777.96

The Canadian dollar regained 0.11 cents at 75.49 cents U.S.

CIBC initiated coverage on Labrador Iron Ore Royalty with an outperform rating and price target of $35.00. Labrador shares lost 97 cents, or 3.8%, to $24.87.

Citigroup raised the price target on BRP Inc. to $59.00 from $54.00. BRP shares gained 30 cents to $50.86.

Scotiabank raised the price target on Brookfield Renewable Partners LP to $40.00 from $36.00, with a sector perform rating. Brookfield Renewable units stayed put at $52.03.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 3.92 points to 570.91

All but two of the 12 Toronto subgroups plunged into the red in the first hour of trading, as gold dulled in price 2.4%, while health-care docked 2.3%, and materials shed 1.6%

The pair of gainers consisted of consumer discretionary stocks, eking up 0.2%, and financials, clearing breakeven 0.01%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks traded mixed on Friday after declines in major chipmaker stocks offset positive sentiment over the United States and China setting dates in mid-October for key trade negotiations.

The Dow Jones Industrials regained 27.4 points to 26,918.52, led higher by a 0.5% gain in Goldman Sachs and a 0.2% climb in Boeing.

The S&P 500 dipped 2.96 points to 2,974.66, as major semiconductor companies like Micron, Lam Research and Applied Materials all sank.

The NASDAQ Composite fell 31.64 points to 7,999

The losses in the S&P 500 will add to its week-to-date losses, on track to end the week, down 0.5%, while the NASDAQ is shedding 1.4% so far.

The optimism among equity traders Friday morning came with trade talks between the U.S. and China set to resume Oct. 10-11 in Washington, D.C.. News of a scheduled meeting added to Wall Street's conviction that the trade war between the two economic superpowers has eased in recent weeks.

Wells Fargo announced Friday that it has named Bank of New York Mellon Chairman and CEO Charles Scharf as its new chief executive officer. Scharf will assume his new role at the head of the nation's fourth-largest bank on Oct. 21 and will represent the bank's first permanent CEO since Tim Sloan resigned in March.

Wells Fargo's stock rose more than 4% Friday morning following the announcement.

Shares of chipmaker Micron fell 6.7% after it reported first-quarter guidance that fell short of analyst expectations.

The Boise, Idaho-based technology company also said its sales to Huawei “were down meaningfully” from anticipated levels prior to the Trump administration's move to add the Chinese telecommunications giant to the U.S. Entity List. The White House's decision effectively bars Huawei from doing business with American companies.

U.S. consumer spending slowed more than expected in August, according to a government report released Friday. Personal consumption expenditures, also known as household spending, edged up an adjusted 0.1% in August from July, when spending rose 0.5%.

The print represents consumer spending's softest read since February and could suggest to policymakers that a critical driver of U.S. GDP growth is decelerating. Consumer spending accounts for more than 66% of total economic output in the United States.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury were static, keeping yields at Thursday's 1.70%.

Oil prices slipped 69 cents to $55.81 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dropped $15.20 to $1,500.00 U.S. an ounce.

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