TSX Drops 100+

Aritzia, Corus in Spotlight

Stocks in Canada’s largest market moved into the red by the closing bell on Thursday, as strength in consumer stocks were bowled over by weakness in health-care.

The S&P/TSX Composite decreased 102.04 points to close Thursday’s session at 21,292.96.

The Canadian dollar slid 0.05 cents to 79.93 cents U.S.

Health-care concerns proved the main anchor on markets Thursday, with Canopy Growth tumbling 61 cents, or 5.5%, to $10.55, while Well Health Technologies sank 22 cents, or 5%, to $4.22.

Materials were lower, with Endeavour Silver shying 14 cents, or 2.6%, to $5.29, while Hudbay Minerals slid 33 cents, or 3.2%, to $9.89.

Fashion retailer Aritzia was the largest percentage gainer on the TSX, jumping $9.74, or 19.7%, to $59.25 after its quarterly results beat estimates, and after the stock received a battery of price target raises from brokerages.

Elsewhere in consumer stocks, Sleep Country Canada surged $1.62, or 4.3%, to $39.67.

Financials also performed well, with Home Capital Group zoomed $1.17 or 2.9%, to $40.96, while Equitable Group climbed $1.66, or 2.3%, to $74.49.

Corus Entertainment led communications gainers, collecting 30 cents, or 6%, to $5.27, while Quebecor moved up 26 cents to $30.31.

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 16.48 points, or 1.8%, to 907.04.

The 12 TSX subgroups were evenly divided between winners and losers, with health-care handing over 2.6%, information technology going south 2.1%, and materials dropping 1.1%.

Consumer discretionary proved the top gainer, advancing 2.3%, while financials were richer by 0.6%, and communications were ahead of Wednesday’s close by 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks struggled on Thursday as a rebound in tech stocks faded.

The Dow Jones Industrials weakened 176.7 points to 36,113.62

The S&P 500 shed 67.32 points, or 1.4%, to 4,659.03

The NASDAQ Composite subtracted 381.58 points, or 2.5%, to 14,806.81.

Weakness in Big Tech stocks, including Amazon and Microsoft, weighed on the NASDAQ. Shares of Snap dropped roughly 8%, while Virgin Galactic slid nearly 18% after the space exploration company announced a debt offering. Electric vehicle stock Tesla shed more than 5%.

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 more than 2%. Shares of homebuilder KB Home rallied more than 16% after reporting better-than-expected earnings.

Elsewhere, Dow component Boeing rose 3.1% following a Bloomberg News report that the company’s 737 Max could resume service in China as soon as this month. Shares of regional and mid-sized banks outperformed, with PNC Financial adding more than 1%.

The slide in tech was poised to end a three-day rally for the NASDAQ. Tech stocks have been volatile to start 2022 as the Federal Reserve has signaled it will fight inflation aggressively this year, including rate hikes and potentially reducing its balance sheet.

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 raised their game, bringing yields down to 1.70% from Wednesday’s 1.73%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices ditched $1.17 to $81.47 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dropped $5.80 to $1,821.50 U.S. an ounce.