Stocks in Toronto made a go of it Thursday, but fell just short of breakeven, as gains in telecom stocks were counteracted by loss in the tech field.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index ended the day down 38.83 points to 16,024.50.
The Canadian dollar dipped 0.36 cents at 73.67 cents U.S.
Communications stocks led the parade, with Cineplex moving upward 34 cents, or 4%, to $ 8.75, while BCE hiked 83 cents, or 1.5%, to $ 57.18.
Among industrials, TFI International took on a dollar, or 1.9%, to $ 54.04, while Richelieu Hardware advanced 53 cents, or 1.7%, to $ 32.29.
Utilities also fared well, with Innergex Renewable hiking 57 cents, or 2.7%, to $ 21.54, while Transalta grew 18 cents, or 2.1%, to $ 8.67.
Techs were bruised yet again Thursday, with Photon Control dipping four cents, or 2.2%, to $ 1.78, while Shopify foundered $ 30.26, or 2.3%, to $ 1,265.04.
Energy wavered, too, as Whitecap Resources docked six cents, or 2.5%, to $ 2.32, while Enerplus skidded seven cents, or 2%, to $ 3.49.
In health-care, Aurora Cannabis deducted 91 cents, or 5.3%, to $ 16.40, while Aurinia Pharmaceutical fell 36 cents, or 1.8%, to $ 19.50.
OPEC and its allies will reduce their production cuts to 7.7 million barrels per day through December from the 9.7 million bpd in place since May.
The Bank of Canada said Wednesday Canada’s economic activity will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022 and interest rates will remain low for at least two years, as the central bank again held its key overnight rate steady.
Canada’s efforts to flatten the curve of coronavirus cases have put the country on the cusp of zero deaths from COVID-19 for the first time since March, but officials see worrying signs of a new spike as provinces lift restrictions.
On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported foreign investors acquired $ 22.4 billion of Canadian securities in May, following a record investment of $ 49.0 billion in April. Meanwhile, Canadian investors added $ 13.4 billion of foreign securities to their holdings as investment in equities accelerated.
The TSX Venture Exchange slid 5.81 points to close Thursday at 661.58.
The 12 TSX subgroups were evenly divided between gainers and losers, with communications up 0.1%, industrials stronger by 0.5%, and utilities better by 0.4%.
The half-dozen laggards were weighed most by information technology, sliding 1.3%, while energy doffed 1.1%, and health-care dipped 1%.
Stocks fell on Thursday as shares of the major tech companies struggled once again and traders digested a mixed batch of corporate earnings and economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrials retreated 135.39 points to 26,734.71. The 30-stock index thus ended a four-day winning streak.
The S&P 500 lost 10.99 points to 3,215.57.
The NASDAQ slid 76.6 points to 10,473.87.
Shares of Microsoft and Apple fell more than 1% each. Amazon dipped 0.3%. Netflix — which was set to report earnings after the bell — erased earlier losses and gained 0.8%. The streaming giant’s stock dropped more than 11% after hours on the back of its results.
Big Tech has been the best-performing group in the stock market this year as investors bet their business models could withstand the coronavirus economic slowdown. However, they have struggled this week. Netflix is down more than 3% week to date; Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Microsoft are also down over that time period.
The corporate earnings season began this week and continued with Bank of America reporting better-than-expected earnings for the previous quarter. However, the stock fell more than 2% as the company set aside $ 4 billion for coronavirus-related losses.
Dow member Johnson & Johnson gained 0.7% on the back of better-than-expected earnings. Morgan Stanley popped 2.5% after the company’s quarterly earnings easily beat analyst expectations on the back of strong trading revenues.
Shares of companies that would benefit from the economy reopening struggled Thursday. Cruise operators Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line all fell more than 7%. United Airlines dropped more than 5% and American slipped 7.4%.
The weekly jobless claims number came in slightly worse than expected. The U.S. Labor Department said a total of 1.30 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, compared to Dow Jones estimates of 1.25 million first-time filers.
However, retail sales jumped 7.5% in June, topping expectations of a 5.2% increase per Dow Jones. This reading came after May’s 17.7% surge, which blew past estimates and was the largest reading on record.
Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were higher, weighing yields to 0.62% from Wednesday’s 0.63%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices sank 50 cents to $ 40.70 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices dulled $ 18.20 to $ 1,795.60 U.S. an ounce.