Stocks Stagger at Outset

Parkland, Transalta in Focus


Equities in Canada’s largest centre opened lower on Wednesday, weighed by energy shares, and as hotter-than-expected domestic inflation data fueled worries about aggressive interest rate hikes.

The S&P/TSX collapsed 326.53 points, or 1.7%, to begin the session at 18,930.76.

The Canadian dollar fell 0.16 cents to 77.16 cents U.S.

Bombardier workers on a key program for the Canadian business jet maker will decide on Wednesday whether to accept a new contract offer or walk off the job. Meantime, analysts at TD have cut the price target on the company’s stock to $62.00 from $69.00.

Bombardier shares lost 37 cents, or 1.5%, to $23.64.

Goldman Sachs cut the target price on Parkland Fuel to $35.00 from $36.00. Parkland shares weakened $1.12, or 3.3%, to $32.96.

CIBC raised the target price on TransAlta to $17.50 from $17.00. TransAlta shares doffed 22 cents, or 1.6%, to $13.31.

On the economic scene, Statistics Canada reported May’s consumer price index rose 7.7% on a year-over-year basis, up from a 6.8% gain in April.

The agency adds, on a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, the CPI increased 1.1% in May.


The TSX Venture Exchange folded 13.54 points, or 2.1%, to 639.43.

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups fell down the charts in the first hour, as energy slid 6%, materials dropped 2%, and consumer staples lost 1.3%.

Only health-care was in the plus column, and only 0.1% at that.


U.S. stocks declined Wednesday, giving up some of the previous session’s sharp gains.

The Dow Jones Industrials handed over 174.22 points worth of yesterday’s gains to start Wednesday at 30,356.03.

The S&P 500 dipped 12.16 points to 3,752.63.

The NASDAQ Composite bucked the trend and nosed higher 12.45 points to 11,081.75.

Those moves come as growing fears of an economic recession continued to weigh on investors. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress on Wednesday that the central bank had the “resolve” it takes to bring inflation down, further fanning concerns aggressive monetary tightening would tip the U.S. economy into a recession.

Some Wall Street banks increased their odds of a downturn this week with Citigroup raising chances of a global recession to 50%, pointing to data that consumers are starting to pull back on spending.

Energy stocks took a hit as oil prices dropped on concern a slower economy will hurt fuel demand. Brent crude futures dropped nearly 6% to $107.78 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil benchmark, declined 6.5% to $102.38 per barrel.

Shares of Marathon Oil and ConocoPhillips dropped more than 5%, while Occidental Petroleum slid 4%. Exxon Mobil dipped 3%.

On Wednesday, the White House released a fact sheet calling for Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months.

The effort is meant to ease pressures at the pump for consumers during an election year.

On the earnings front, KB Home will post results after the market closes on Wednesday.

Treasury prices jumped, lowering yields to 3.14% from Tuesday’s 3.31%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices swooned $7.18 to $102.34 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices recovered $7.40 to $1,846.20 U.S. an ounce.