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TSX Opens Flat Amid Continued Virus Scare

Canada's main stock index was flat on Friday as gains in energy stocks were offset by broader caution around the economic impact of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The TSX Composite Index eked up 3.1 points Friday at 17,824.27

The Canadian dollar gained 0.13 cents to 75.49 cents U.S.

Markets are to be shuttered Monday for Family Day.

Canopy Growth said on Friday it will focus on reducing costs as the pot producer struggles with a slump in weed prices from oversupply and higher expenses that led to a bigger adjusted loss in the quarter.

Canopy shares vaulted $4.94, or 19.1%, to $30.82.

CannTrust Holdings on Thursday named Greg Guyatt as chief executive officer, months after it fired Peter Aceto following a Health Canada finding that the marijuana producer grew cannabis in unlicensed rooms.

CannTrust shares acquired nine cents, or 8.4%, to $1.16.

Canaccord Genuity cut the target price on Aurora Cannabis to $2.25 from $3.00. Aurora shares moved up five cents, or 2.6%, to $2.01.

TELUS Corp will soon begin rolling out its 5G network and its initial module will be with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's equipment, the company's Chief Financial Officer Doug French said on Thursday. TELUS shares dropped a dollar, or 1.8%, to $53.53.

CIBC raised the rating on Lundin Gold to outperformer from neutral. Lundin shares nicked up a penny to $7.37.

National Bank of Canada ups target price on Canadian Tire Corporation to $178.00 from $174.00. Canadian Tire hiked $1.70, or 1.2%, to $148.00.

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 2.01 points to 573.01.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were in positive territory in the first hour, with health-care racing 6.1%, utilities up 0.5%, and energy, heading higher 0.4%.

The five laggards were weighed most by communications, staggering 0.6%, industrials, down 0.4%, and information technology, off 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks kicked off Friday's session trading along the flatline as Wall Street digested the release of disappointing consumer data and strong earnings to end a solid week of gains.

The Dow Jones Industrials opened Friday down 51.04 points to 29,372.27,

The S&P 500 fled 3.24 points to 3,370.70

The NASDAQ slid 5.53 points to 9,706.44.

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 that , 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 6% after its quarterly results beat analyst expectations. Expedia got an 11.6% boost from its earnings while Roku gained 6.1%.

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 72 cents to $52.14 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices six dollars to $1,584.30 U.S. an ounce.

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