Stocks End Wild Session in Red

Health-care Sags, Communications Move Ahead


Thursday proved another day of wild swings on stock markets throughout North America, with the “ride” ending in negative positions on major markets.

The S&P/TSX Composite ended Thursday down 51.78 points, to 20,544.11.

The Canadian dollar shed 0.55 cents at 78.46 cents U.S.

Gold stocks took a hit, as New Gold dropped 11 cents, or 5.3%, to $1.95, while Equinox Gold shed 38 cents, or 5.3%, to $7.22.

Tech stocks took some body blows, as HUT 8 Mining continued to stumble, 73 cents today or 10%, to $6.59, while Shopify toppled $56.36, or 5.1%, to $1,044.81.

In health-care, Tilray slid 37 cents, or 5.3%, to $6.65, while Aurora Cannabis ditched 28 cents, or 5.5%, to $4.84.

Communications boasted gains, with Rogers Communications picking up $2.07, or 3.4%, to $63.87, while Shaw added 59 cents, or 1.6%, to $37.70.

In consumer staples, Metro took on $2.42, or 3.7%, to $67.20, while George Weston gained $2.19, or 1.6%, to $138.21.

Energy shares also moved higher with Suncor Inc. jumping 78 cents, or 2.2%, to $36.14, while Birchcliff Energy soaring 13 cents, or 2.2%, to $6.09.

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada said the number of employees receiving pay or benefits from their employer rose by 37,200 (+0.2%) in November, the sixth consecutive monthly increase, bringing it to within 0.4% of its pre-pandemic level.

Moreover, The Bank of Canada will soon start hiking interest rates from record lows to combat inflation, Governor Tiff Macklem announced on Wednesday, saying the economy no longer needed help to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dumped 15.88 points, or 1.9%, to 830.41.

The 12 TSX subgroups were divided between gainers and losers, as communications soaring 1.3%, consumer staples climbing 1.1%, and energy gushing 1%.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed the most by health-care, down 2.9%, information technology letting go 1.9%, and gold, off 1.8%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks whipsawed in volatile trading Thursday as investors mulled over an update from the Federal Reserve, the latest GDP report and corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrials handed back gains topping more than 600 points, and lost 7.31 points by the close to 34,160.78

The S&P 500 slipped 23.42 points to 4,326.51.

The NASDAQ also fell from dizzy heights, losing 189.34 points, or 1.4%, to 13,352.78.

Stocks are coming off three straight roller-coaster sessions, with the indexes seeing big swings each day this week. Despite wild intraday movement, the Dow is down just 0.3% on the week, while the S&P 500 is off by 1.6% and the NASDAQ is 3% lower.

The three major averages are solidly in negative territory this month, with the NASDAQ down more than 17% from its intraday high.

On the earnings front, Intel and Tesla posted strong quarterly numbers. However, their shares fell 7% and 11.6%, respectively.
Netflix jumped 7.5% on Thursday after news that Pershing’s Bill Ackman bought 3.1 million shares.

Investors continued to digest the latest update on monetary policy as the Federal Open Market Committee strongly indicated the first interest rate hike since late 2018 could come as soon as March.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell rattled markets Wednesday saying the central bank has "quite a bit of room" to raise rates before negatively impacting employment.

Fourth-quarter gross domestic product jumped 6.9% from the year prior, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected the economy grew at a 5.5% annualized pace in the final three months of 2021.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys gained ground, lowering yields to 1.81% from Wednesday’s 1.87%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices eased back 21 cents to $87.14 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices lost $35.00 to $1,794.70 U.S. an ounce.