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Canadian Stocks Are Rising After Weak Start - Canadian Commentary

The Canadian stock market got off to a weak start Wednesday, but has since managed to climb into positive territory. Healthcare and energy stocks remain weak this morning, but financial and industrial names are providing support.

Markets in Europe got off to a weak start Wednesday, but have since pared their losses. A few have managed to inch into positive territory, while others are drawing closer to the green.

Markets on Wall Street are nearly flat in early trade Wednesday. Middle East concerns as well as worries over a possible government shutdown has traders in a cautious mood. However, investors were pleased with the better than expected private sector employment report, ahead of Friday's jobs report.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 56.60 points or 0.36 percent at 15,972.28.

On Tuesday, the index closed down 53.35 points or 0.33 percent, at 15,915.68. The index scaled an intraday high of 15,973.84 and a low of 15,908.38.

The Capped Healthcare Index is lower by 1.36 percent. Concordia International (CXR.TO) is dropping 1.52 percent and ProMetic Life Sciences (PLI.TO) is weakening by 0.81 percent.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO) is falling 2.13 percent after a class action suit by Valeant investors has been cleared to go to trial.

The Energy Index is falling 0.67 percent. Crude oil prices are falling Wednesday morning, despite industry data showing a large decline in U.S. oil inventories.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a large draw of 5.481 million barrels of United States crude oil inventories for the week ending December 1.

The Energy Information Administration reported this morning that U.S. crude inventories decreased by 5.6 million barrels last week.

Encana (ECA.TO) is weakening by 1.37 percent and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is down 0.04 percent. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is losing 1.82 percent and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is surrendering 0.81 percent. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) is lower by 0.07 percent and Enbridge (ENB.TO) is slipping 0.04 percent.

The Capped Telecommunication Services Index is up 0.77 percent. TELUS (T.TO) is rising 1.20 percent and BCE (BCE.TO) is gaining 0.26 percent. Rogers Communications (RCI-B.TO) is climbing 0.99 percent.

The Capped Industrials Index is up 0.56 percent. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) is gaining 0.61 percent and Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) is rising 1.09 percent. WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) is higher by 0.11 percent.

The heavyweight Financial Index is increasing 0.50 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is gaining 0.82 percent and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is rising 0.66 percent. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is climbing 0.46 percent and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) is advancing 0.81 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is up 0.98 percent.

Laurentian Bank (LB.TO) is falling 0.89 percent after an "internal audit uncovered some "documentation issues and client misrepresentations" in mortgages sold to a third party.

The affected mortgages which will be repurchased were worth $89 million.

"No employees were implicated in any misrepresentations and the documentation issues appear to have been unintentional," the bank said.

The Capped Information Technology Index is gaining 0.39 percent. Constellation Software (CSU.TO) is advancing 0.53 percent and Descartes Systems Group (DSG.TO) is adding 0.18 percent.

The Capped Materials Index is up 0.24 percent. Franco-Nevada (FNV.TO) is rising 0.19 percent and Agrium (AGU.TO) is gaining 0.51 percent. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT.TO) is increasing 0.37 percent.

The Gold Index is increasing 0.13 percent. Gold prices are nearly flat Wednesday morning, staying near yesterday's 4-month lows.

Kinross Gold (K.TO) is advancing 0.80 percent and Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) is climbing 1.42 percent. B2Gold (BTO.TO) is rising 1.99 percent and Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is adding 0.32 percent.

Dollarama (DOL.TO) said earnings were higher in the third quarter, narrowly beating market expectations. Shares are tumbling 2.40 percent.

Hudson's Bay (HBC.TO) lost $243 million in its latest quarter on slumping sales. The stock is sinking 14.54 percent.

On the economic front, Germany's factory orders increased unexpectedly in October helped by demand from domestic market and non-euro area economies.

New orders in manufacturing climbed 0.5 percent month-on-month in October, but slower than the revised 1.2 percent rise in September, figures from Destatis revealed Wednesday. Orders were forecast to fall 0.2 percent.

Germany's construction activity expanded at the weakest pace in ten months in November, survey data from IHS Markit showed Wednesday. The headline Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 53.1 in November from 53.3 in October.

Employment in the U.S. private sector increased by slightly more than expected in the month of November, payroll processor ADP revealed in a report released on Wednesday.

ADP said private sector employment climbed by 190,000 jobs in November after surging up by 235,000 jobs in October. Economists had expected an increase of about 185,000 jobs.

Labor productivity in the U.S. saw a notable increase in the third quarter, according to a revised report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday.

The report said labor productivity jumped by 3.0 percent in the third quarter, unchanged from the preliminary estimate. Economists had expected the increase in productivity to be upwardly revised to 3.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said unit labor costs fell by a revised 0.2 percent in the third quarter compared to the previously reported 0.5 percent increase. Costs had been expected to rise by a revised 0.2 percent.

In commodities, crude oil futures for January delivery are down 0.91 or 1.58 percent at $56.71 a barrel.

Natural gas for January is down 0.007 or 0.24 percent at $2.907 per million btu.

Gold futures for February are up 1.50 or 0.12 percent at $1,266.40 an ounce.

Silver for March is down 0.048 or 0.30 percent at $16.02 an ounce.

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