TSX Dips Slightly

Aritzia, Home Capital in Spotligh

Toronto stocks were nearly flat on Thursday as losses in miners and energy stocks dampened some cheer arising from soft U.S. inflation data that lifted Wall Street.

The S&P/TSX Composite ducked back 19.41 points late Thursday morning to 21,375.59.

The Canadian dollar jumped 0.11 cents to 80.08 cents U.S.

Fashion retailer Aritzia was the largest percentage gainer on the TSX, jumping $9.09, or 18.4%, to $$58.60 after its quarterly results beat estimates, and after the stock received a battery of price target raises from brokerages.

Financials also performed well, with Canadian Western Bank perking $1.45, or 3.7%, to $40.50, while Home Capital Group zoomed 81 cents, or 2%, to $40.60.

Health-care issues weren’t so fortunate, as Well Health Technologies dived 20 cents, or 4.5%, to $4.24, while Canopy Growth sagged 42 cents, or 3.8%, to $10.74.

Techs also took some body blows, most notably, Shopify, stumbling $88.38, or 6.1%, to $1,373.47.

Canada’s border agency says this country will allow unvaccinated Canadian truckers to cross in from the United States, reversing a decision requiring all truckers to be inoculated against the coronavirus.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange caved 12.49 points, or 1.4%, to 911.03.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative approaching noon hour, with information technology dawdling 1.4%, health-care lower by 1.3%, and gold, off 1.1%.

The five gainers were led by consumer discretionaries, up 1.8%, financials, better by 0.7%, and communications, improving 0.6%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks were little changed on Thursday morning as Wall Street attempted to build on a rebound from a rough start to the New Year.

The Dow Jones Industrials leaped 191.08 points to 36,481.40

The S&P 500 eked up 3.32 points to 4,723.03

The NASDAQ Composite sank 88.96 points to 15,099.43.

The markets were supported by some strong earnings reports. Delta Air Lines posted a beat on profit and revenue and reaffirmed full-year guidance, sending its shares up 3.6%. Shares of homebuilder KB Home rallied more than 13% after reporting better-than-expected earnings.

Elsewhere, Dow component Boeing rose nearly 4% following a Bloomberg News report that the company’s 737 Max could resume service in China as soon as this month. Payments stocks also moved higher, with Mastercard and Visa adding roughly 2%.

Weakness in Big Tech stocks, including Amazon and Tesla, weighed on the NASDAQ. Shares of Snap dropped more than 6%, while Virgin Galactic slid nearly 16% after the space exploration company announced a debt offering.

Thursday’s market moves came as another inflation report showed a historically high rise in prices but was not as bad as some economists feared. The December producer price index rose 0.2% month over month. That was below the 0.4% expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones. However, the measure was up 9.7% year over year, which is the highest on record going back to 2010.

Elsewhere, initial jobless claims for the week ending Jan. 8 came in at 230,000, above the 200,000 projected by economists polled by Dow Jones forecast. However, continuing claims declined.

Markets also will be watching action on Capitol Hill, where Fed Governor Lael Brainard will be heading for her confirmation as vice chairman of the central bank’s policymaking Federal Open Market Committee.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys were unchanged, keeping yields at Wednesday’s 1.73%.

Oil prices ditched 49 cents to $82.15 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dropped $11.20 to $1,816.10 U.S. an ounce.