TSX Lists Lower

Canopy, HEXO Punished


Stocks faltered Thursday as health-care gave back whatever past gains it had accumulated.

The S&P/TSX Composite dropped 55.77 points to conclude Thursday at 16,253.46

The Canadian dollar was down 0.08 to 75.18 cents U.S.

Health-care took the greatest pounding Thursday, as Canopy Growth lost $1.76, or 5%, to $33.59, and HEXO Corp. shed 22 cents, or 4%, to $5.28.

Among consumer staples, Saputo swooned two dollars, or 4.8%, to $39.70, while Alimentation Couche-Tard dipped $1.05, or 1.3%, to $80.10

Energy backpedaled, as Peyto Exploration and Development slid 28 cents, or 7.7%, to $3.35, while Kelt Exploration sank 12 cents, or 4.2%, to $2.73.

Techs prospered, with Absolute Software climbing 26 cents, or 3.4%, to $7.87, and Constellation Software jumping $16.99, or 1.3%, to $1,296.33

Next on the leaderboard were consumer discretionary stocks, headed by Hudson’s Bay Company, poking up 43 cents, or 4.2%, to $10.69, while BRP Inc. acquired 94 cents, or 2.4%, to $40.25.

Financials also scored well, as CIBC jumped $2.10, or 2.1%, to $101.60, while Alaris Royalty surged 19 cents, or nearly 1%, to $19.94.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada said wholesale sales rose 0.6% to $64.1 billion in June, partly offsetting the 1.9% decline in May. The agency went on to say sales were up in four of seven sub-sectors, representing 54% of total wholesale sales.

Also, in June, 442,600 people received regular Employment Insurance benefits, a figure virtually unchanged from the previous month.

The number of EI beneficiaries in June increased in Quebec, while it decreased in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange eked higher 2.2 points to 578.10

All but three of 12 Toronto subgroups were lower on the session, as health-care lost 2%, consumer staples were weaker by 1.1%, and energy receded 0.6%

The three gainers were information technology, ahead 0.3%, consumer discretionary stocks, eking up 0.2%, and financials, better by 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose slightly on Thursday as investors awaited a key speech from the Federal Reserve’s top official.

The 30-stock index closed Thursday up 49.51 points to 26,252.24. Boeing’s 4.2% gain pushed the Dow higher.

The S&P 500 shaved off 1.48 points to 2,922.95

The NASDAQ doddered 28.82 points to 7,991.39

Weak U.S. manufacturing data added to worries of a recession. IHS Markit said manufacturing activity in the U.S. contracted this month for the first time in nearly 10 years.

These fears have battered stocks in August. The Dow and NASDAQ are both down more than 2% each this month while the S&P 500 has lost 1.9%.

Nordstrom shares jumped more than 15% after the retailer reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analyst expectations. The company cited "inventory and expense discipline" for the strong results.

Dick’s Sporting Goods traded 3.6% higher on better-than-expected results for the previous quarter. Comparable-store sales, a key metric for retailers, topped analyst expectations. The company also raised its full-year forecast.

The results from Nordstrom and Dick’s add to a strong batch of retail earnings. On Wednesday, Target and Lowe’s surged after releasing corporate earnings results that topped estimates. Those results lifted sentiment across the market and sent the Dow up more than 200 points.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is set to deliver a speech Friday at a yearly central banking symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The stakes are high for Powell as investors will look for hints that the Fed will cut rates in September.

The Fed cut interest rates by 25 basis points in July. Experts opine market expectations for another rate cut in September are at 93.5%

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, raising yields to 1.62% from Wednesday’s 1.58%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices slumped 28 cents to $55.40 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slid seven dollars to $1,508.700 U.S. an ounce.