Growth, Jobless Figures Weigh on TSX

Intact in Focus

Canada's main stock index fell at Friday’s open, as worries over a broadening global economic slowdown and data on a rise in the unemployment rate kept investors away from riskier bets.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index plunged 83.28 points to open Friday trading at 15,620.08
The Canadian dollar recovered 0.23 cents to 75.35 cents U.S.
RBC raised the target price on BCE to $60.00 from $59.00. BCE shares fell 12 cents to $57.37.

KBW raised the target price on Intact Financial to $112.00 from $110.00. Intact shares gathered 43 cents to $111.42.

National Bank of Canada raised Saputo’s target price to $44.00 from $43.00. Saputo stock lost 59 cents each, or 1.4%, to $40.64.

In the economic docket, Statistics Canada said the economy created 67,000 jobs in January, mostly among youth aged 15 to 24 and in the services-producing industries.

The unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to 5.8% as more people looked for work.

Moreover, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says the seasonally-adjusted annual rate came in at 207,968 units for the first month of the year compared with 213,630 in December.

Economists had expected an annualized pace of 205,000 for January

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 1.87 points to 613.01

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative to begin Friday, with health-care waning 1.2%, energy down 0.7%, and consumer discretionary shares fading 0.6%.

The two gainers were gold, up 0.7%, and materials, eking up 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell on Friday as market participants continued to worry about ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations as well as slowing economic growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 170.37 points to 24,999.16, led lower by shares of Intel and Chevron.

The S&P 500 lost 15.55 points to 2,690.50, as the energy and consumer discretionary sectors lagged.

The NASDAQ Composite slouched 40.45 points to 7,247.90.

Earnings for the first quarter of 2019 are expected to contract by more than 1%. If earnings do fall, it will be the first profit contraction for the S&P 500 since the second quarter of 2016, when they fell 2.5%.

Qorvo shares dropped more than 9% while Micron Technology lost 2.6%. Nvidia, meanwhile, declined more than 1.5%.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the two countries have not yet put together a draft on the matters they agree or disagree. The report comes as a key early March deadline approaches.

It also follows President Donald Trump saying on Thursday he will not meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before that deadline. White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow also said there is a "pretty sizable distance to go" before China and the U.S. reach a deal.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained, lowering yields to 2.64% from Thursday’s 2.66%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices docked eight cents to $52.56 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained four dollars to $1,318.20 U.S. an ounce.