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Communications Hangs Heavy on TSX


Stocks in Toronto waged the good fight Thursday, but still came up short by the close, weighed down by the communication services sector, while investors remained cautious ahead of the key domestic employment data due later this week.

The TSX Composite was in minus country by the close but had climbed back to within 49.54 points of breakeven to 20,919.64.

The Canadian dollar squeezed ahead 0.03 cents at 74.30 cents U.S.

Communications held things down the worst, with the beleaguered BCE taking the worst pounding, $1.89, or 3.6%, to $51.18, after word of massive layoffs at Bell Media stations nationwide. Elsewhere, TELUS sank 57 cents, or 2.4%, to $22.94.

Utilities took a hit, too, as Northland Power succumbed 93 cents, or 3.9%, to $23.05, while Boralex surrendered $1.17, or 3.6%, to $30.93.

Gold lost some luster, as Osisko Gold Royalties gave up 63 cents, or 3.1%, to $19.70, while Seabridge Gold docked 26 cents, or 1.9%, to $13.52.

Energy tried to rally, with Enerplus zooming $1.62, or 8.4%, to $20.89, while Precision Drilling picked up $2.85, or 3.4%, to $85.92.

Real-estate also moved up, with Colliers International Group leaping $13.24, or 8.9%, to $161.63, while Altus Group tacked on $1.11, or 2.4%, to $46.86.

In consumer discretionary stocks, Aritzia shone $1.18, or 3%, brighter, to $39.94, while MTY Food Group conquered $1.64, or 2.9%, to $58.64.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange poked up 2.17 points to 549.49.

Eight of the 12 subgroups finished the day in the minus section, with communications plunging 1.9%, utilities sank 1.2%, and gold duller by 0.8%.

The four gainers were led by energy, up 1.4%, real-estate, progressing 1%, and consumer discretionary stocks, better by 0.9%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks were mixed during Thursday trading, with the S&P 500 on the brink of breaching the 5,000 milestone for the first time ever.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered 48.97 points to end Thursday at 38,726.33.

The S&P 500 index forged ahead 2.85 points to 4,997.91. The S&P continued its dance with 5,000 after rising within striking distance of the landmark level during Wednesday’s session. The index touched as high as 4,999.89 on an intraday basis before paring back gains.

The NASDAQ index gained 37.07 points to 15,793.72.

Earnings remained top of mind for investors, with Disney surging 11% after beating quarterly earnings estimates and raising its guidance. Chipmaker and designer Arm jumped 49% after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings and providing an upbeat profit forecast.

The earnings season continues after the bell with reports from Expedia, Affirm Holdings and Take-Two Interactive

Markets also wrestled with the notion of fewer rate cuts than previously expected this year after recent commentary from the central bank and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell dashed hopes for a cut in March.

So far this season, 77% of S&P 500 companies have topped earnings expectations, while about 68% have beaten sales forecasts, according to FactSet. These strong earnings, and a continued chug higher in 2023’s winning mega-cap technology stocks, have boosted the market in recent sessions.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury sagged, raising yields 4.15% from Wednesday’s 4.12%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices surged $2.61 to $76.47 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices backpedaled $3.60 to $2,048.10.



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