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North American markets take a breather Monday in advance of heavy earnings week


TORONTO — North American stock markets were relatively quiet Monday in advance of a flood of earnings reports from major U.S. and Canadian companies expected later this week.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 23.47 points at 20,164.96.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 83.16 points at 35,144.71. The S&P 500 index was up 10.44 points at 4,422.23, while the Nasdaq composite was up 3.72 points at 14,840.71.

Edward Jones investment strategist Angelo Kourkafas said that with a number of major North American stock indexes hovering near record highs, investors appeared to pause Monday for a breather before what is expected to be a busy week.

“We have a lot of S&P heavyweights who are set to report earnings, including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet. And the same in Canada, we’re expecting a wave of earnings from a number of energy stocks, as well as Shopify,” Kourkafas said. “About 20 per cent of the TSX companies will be reporting earnings this week.”

Canada’s benchmark stock index plummeted to its lowest level in months a week ago on investor fears over rising COVID-19 case counts around the world, closing at 19,616.62. However, the S&P/TSX composite index spent the remainder of last week rebounding to close at 20,188.43 on Friday.

Kourkafas said while investors were spooked early last week by the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus and the potential risk it poses to the global economy, they appear to be gaining confidence as a growing number of companies report positive second-quarter results.

“The second quarter earnings season is off to a very strong start, and that’s really what’s allowed investors to look through the Delta variant uncertainties,” he said.

Kourkafas added if this week's earnings are also positive, the market rally will likely continue.

"Markets rarely move in a straight line ... so we won't be surprised if we see some volatility," he said. "But we do have a lot of confidence that the business and markets side will prove durable and sustainable.”

The Canadian dollar traded for 79.69 cents US compared with 79.52 cents US on Friday.

The September crude oil contract was down 16 cents at US$71.91 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was up 4 cents at US$4.08 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract was down US$2.60 at US$1,799.20 an ounce and the September copper contract was up 18.5 cents at US$4.59 a pound.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD)

The Canadian Press

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