Stocks Down at Noon

Gildan Up, Aurora Slides

Canada's main stock index retreated from a record high on Friday, as heightening diplomatic tensions between the United States and China sparked fears of a setback in trade negotiations between the two sides.

The TSX Composite Index fell 37.36 points early Friday afternoon from Thursday’s all-time high to 17,077.16

The Canadian dollar faded 0.01 cents to 77.29 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Gildan Activewear, gathering $1.04, or 2.8%, to $38.68, and Turquoise Hill Resources, which jumped a penny, or 1.6%, to 62 cents.

Aurora Cannabis fell 16 cents, or 4.6%, the most on the TSX, to $3.32, while the second biggest decliner was Canopy Growth, down 84 cents, or 3.3%, to $24.70. Both stocks had been among the biggest gainers in the previous session.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that our economy fought its way up in the third quarter. Real gross domestic product grew 0.3%, following a 0.9% increase in the second quarter.

Third-quarter growth was led by higher business investment and increased household spending, boosting final domestic demand by 0.8%. For the individual month of September, GDP edged up 0.1%, as 13 out of 20 industrial sectors increased.

The agency’s industrial product price index edged up by 0.1% in October, primarily due to higher prices for energy and petroleum products.

The raw material price index was down 1.9% during the same month, primarily due to lower prices for crude energy products.

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada reported that average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $1,042 in September, up 0.9% from August.

Compared with September 2018, earnings grew by 4.0%, continuing an upward trend observed since March.

Oil prices were off 30 cents at $58.11 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices handed back 69 cents to $1,456.00 U.S. an ounce.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange eked up 0.98 points to stop for lunch Friday at 533.29

All but three of the 12 Toronto subgroups lost ground, with health-care off 1.5%, energy handing back 1.1%, and industrials, falling 0.5%.

The three gainers proved to be gold, ahead 0.9%, materials, progressing 0.5%, and communications, up 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks closed lower on Friday as investors awaiting a concrete trade deal took some money off the table after a strong month.

The Dow Jones Industrials dropped 74.14 points from Wednesday’s all-time record, to end the day, week and month at 28,089.86

The S&P 500 fell 5.62 points to 3,148.01

The NASDAQ subtracted 15.27 points from Wednesday’s all-time peak to 8,689.90

Equity markets were closed Thursday for Thanksgiving. Friday’s is an abbreviated session, just having packed it in at 1 p.m. EST.

The major averages posted strong monthly gains despite Friday’s losses. The S&P 500 climbed 3.4% to notch its biggest one-month gain since June, when it rallied more than 6%. The Dow acquired 3.7% and the NASDAQ gained 4.5% for November. They also had their best month since June. For the week, the Dow gained 0.6% while the S&P 500 took on 1% and NASDAQ advanced 1.7%.

Stocks have been on fire this month in large part because of optimism around the U.S.-China trade negotiations. Back in October, President Donald Trump said the two sides had reached a “phase one” trade deal to be signed this month.

But that optimism has taken some hits recently, particularly this week after Trump signed a bill signed legislation supporting protesters in Hong Kong. China’s foreign ministry claimed the U.S. has "sinister intentions" after Trump signed the bill into law.

Wall Street also kept an eye on retail stocks as Black Friday unofficially kicked off the holiday shopping season. Analytics firm ShopperTrak said Black Friday will be the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States. So far, shoppers have dropped more than $7 billion online during Black Friday, according to data from Adobe.

Strong sales could point to strength in the U.S. consumer sector, which has been the linchpin in the economy as the trade war wages on.
Retail stocks fell with the broader market on Friday. Best Buy shares dipped 0.1% while Macy’s fell 1%.

For the month, IT services company DXC Technology is the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 this month, rallying 35%. Chipmaker Qorvo jumped 29%. Charles Schwab also gained more than 20% for the month. Disney shares outperformed in the Dow this month, gaining 16.7% while UnitedHealth climbed nearly 11% over that time period.

Autodesk shares rose more than 22% this month, their biggest one-month gain since May 2017.

Bond markets shut down at 1 p.m. in the States, and prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury were higher as the session ended, lowering yields back to Wednesday’s 1.77%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped $2.59 at $55.52 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices strengthened $9.30 to $1,470.10 U.S. an ounce.