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At midday: Canfor leads declines on TSX, Wall Street hovers near record highs – The Globe and Mail

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Canada’s main stock index was flat at midday on Tuesday as energy shares were lifted by higher oil prices.

The energy sector jumped nearly 2% after oil prices rose above $65 a barrel, supported by hopes that the U.S.-China trade deal will bolster oil demand in 2020 and the prospect of lower U.S. crude supplies.

The main index opened lower, with declines led by Canfor Corp which tumbled 21%, after it rejected Great Pacific Capital Corp’s proposal to take it private.

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Weighing on sentiment was data that showed Canadian factory sales decreased in October on lower sales in transportation equipment and fabricated metal products.

The lower activity at auto assembly plants and parts plants was due in part to the United Auto Workers strike in the United States.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Whitecap Resources, which jumped 4.2% and Baytex Energy Co , which rose 4%.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Touchstone Exploration and Nemaska Lithium.

Wall Street

U.S. stocks paused after a four-day rally, but still hovered around record levels on Tuesday, while a fall in Boeing’s shares weighed on the Dow as the crisis surrounding the planemaker’s 737 MAX jet deepened.

The S&P 500 edged to a record high for the fourth straight session and was set to build on its 27% gain this year, driven mainly by expectations of a U.S.-China trade deal, a dovish Federal Reserve and upbeat economic indicators.

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Reinforcing confidence in the U.S. economy, data from the Federal Reserve showed manufacturing output rose more than expected in November, as the end of a strike at General Motors plants boosted auto production.

However, a 1% fall in Boeing dragged on the Dow Jones . The company said it would suspend production of its best-selling aircraft in January in its biggest assembly-line halt in more than two decades.

The energy sector was among the biggest gainer on the S&P 500, tracking a rise in oil prices.

Gains in all three major indexes over the last three days have largely been driven by an interim U.S.-China trade agreement, which was announced on Friday.

However, with little chance of another major update on trade before the end of the year, analysts say the market will likely stay around present levels.

“U.S. stocks could start feeling trade optimism fatigue as we near the holidays,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at online trading broker OANDA in New York, adding that a significant pullback was unlikely.

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At 10:31 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 36.25 points, or 0.13%, at 28,272.14, the S&P 500 was up 4.31 points, or 0.14%, at 3,195.76 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 3.40 points, or 0.04%, at 8,817.63.

Netflix Inc rose 3.5% after the streaming service provider said its growth overseas is accelerating, on the back of its Asia-Pacific business.

Johnson & Johnson gained 0.9% after reports that Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock.

While there is no major economic news due this week, a historic vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, likely to result in the impeachment of President Donald Trump, poses another risk for investment decisions in the run-up to the 2020 election.

Reuters

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J&J Coronavirus vaccine candidate – induced immune response, showed acceptable safety profile – ForexLive

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Johnson & Johnson’s experimental Covid-19 vaccine phase 1/2 trial findings have provided some encouragement.

  • induced immune responses in most people who received the shot
  • displayed an acceptable safety profile

Now for some caveats. These are from a small early-stage trial. They are interim, posted on online preprint server medRxiv. The report is not yet peer-reviewed, not yet published in medical journals.

J&J have said that they’ll now carry on with a larger late-stage study of up to 60,000 people that will provide more definitive evidence.

The link above has more, its the Journal so it may be gated. CNN has an ungated report at this link if you prefer. 
  • The vaccine — called Ad26.COV2.S — uses the same technology used for Johnson & Johnson’s Ebola, Zika, HIV and RSV vaccines.

For bank trade ideas, check out eFX Plus

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COVID-19 pandemic taking toll on mental health, Alberta survey says – CBC.ca

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An online survey of Albertans who reached out for help over COVID-19 suggests the pandemic is taking a toll on mental health, with increased signs of obsessive behaviour, stress and depression.

Vincent Agyapong, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Alberta, has just published results of a survey he took of people who subscribed to Text-4-Hope, a government service that provides a daily reassuring text message.

He found abut 60 per cent of respondents had become worried about dirt, germs and viruses since the COVID outbreak.

About 54 per cent had begun washing their hands “very often or in a special way,” which could be considered a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder.

Nearly 50 per cent were considered likely candidates for anxiety disorders, and more than 40 per cent were likely clinically depressed.

And almost 85 per cent of respondents reported moderate to high stress.

Agyapong cautions the sample isn’t representative and that some level of stress and unusual behaviour is understandable in the current situation.

But he says his findings suggest the pandemic is affecting the public’s mental health.

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WATCH: 'Virtual' Rotaryfest 2020 at 7 pm – SooToday

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Despite an unprecedented year of obstacles, one of Sault Ste. Marie’s longest-running traditions returns in a brand new format. The Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie is present Virtual Rotaryfest, streaming on SooToday.

“Our Rotary Club has been celebrating Rotaryfest for almost 100 years – so when it became clear it couldn’t happen in the way it always has, we knew we had to find a creative way to still bring some of the fun of the festival to Sault Ste. Marie,” shared Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie President, Megan Wigmore. “With the virtual format this year, not only do we get to see some of our favourite local bands and performers that have become festival fixtures; we get to bring in some former Saultites to join the party as well!”

One of those former Saultites is Crystal Shawanda. The JUNO Award winning Canadian songstress will headline the virtual event with a Rotaryfest-exclusive performance. The online celebration of music will also include performances from crowd favourites Jay Case and Frank Deresti, Jackson Reed, Mustang Heart, Kelly MacGillivray, Kt Antler & Kyle McKey, Bone Yard, and Tyson Hanes.

This year’s Virtual Rotaryfest has been made possible through the generous support of OLG, SooToday, and Canadian Heritage.

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