The Daily Chase: Quiet trading day expected as July 4 holiday looms

American flags hang on display outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Monday, March 5, 2018. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Here are five things you need to know this morning:

Quiet trading day expected: We’re bracing for a quiet day on markets as trading in the U.S. will finish at 1 p.m. ET today due to the July 4 holiday on Thursday, before reopening on Friday. There are few major corporate earnings on the docket, with the exception of beverage giant Constellation Brands. The company posted a larger than expected profit, but a slight miss on the sales side. Early trading in the stock seems to be positive, however, up 2.5 per cent.

OMERS sells Lifelabs for $1.35B: Ontario’s municipal worker pension plan is selling medical testing company Lifelabs to NYSE-listed Quest Diagnostics for $1.35 billion. OMERS has owned LifeLabs for the past 17 years, but in a release the two companies say LifeLabs will retain its brand, Canadian headquarters, and management after the acquisition is closed.

Tesla shares gain on higher-than-expected deliveries: Tesla shares are poised for a seventh day of gains after the electric car maker said Tuesday it delivered more vehicles than expected during the recently-completed quarter. Tesla delivered more than 443,000 vehicles in Q2. That’s down almost five per cent from a year ago but better than the 439,302 that analysts were anticipating. The company blamed a suspected arson attack at its factory near Berlin, and shipping diversions in the Red Sea for the slowdown. But investors seem to be focusing on the positive in the numbers, pushing the shares up more than 10 per cent on Tuesday and another three per cent in early trading Wednesday.

Canada’s trade deficit widens: The gap between what Canada buys from the world versus what it sells expanded to $1.9 billion in May. That’s the third monthly deficit in a row and far wider than the $1.3 billion that economists were expecting. Statistics Canada reported this morning that imports declined by 1.6 per cent during the month, but exports fell by even more – 2.6 per cent. When the service sector is factored in, the gap is even wider. The trade gap widened from $2.5 billion in April to $2.9 billion in May.

Oil prices buoyed by falling inventories: The price of oil is inching higher this week on worries about the Atlantic hurricane season which has seemingly started early. Hurricane Beryl is barreling toward the Gulf of Mexico, the earliest Category 5 storm on record, and while the powerful storm isn’t expected to have any material impact on energy installations in the area, it’s prompted worries that this year’s storm season could be an all-timer. Oil is changing hands at just over US$83 a barrel this morning, just shy of a two-month high. Oil has also been buoyed by data from the American Petroleum Institute showing U.S. crude inventories fell by more than 9 million barrels. That’s the biggest decline since January.