Stocks Gain on Day after Opening with Triple-Digit Losses

Aphria Takes Beating

Equities started at the bottom, literally, Thursday, but climbed solidly by the closing bell, due to strength in communications and utility stocks. Gains were kept in check, however, by the bruising experienced by pot producer Aphria.

The TSX finished in the green 45.63 points to end Thursday at 16,501.03, after beginning the day down 150 points.

The Canadian dollar fell 0.37 cents to 75.66 cents U.S.

Consumer discretionary stocks led the exodus from this morning’s gully, as Aritzia rocketed $2.70, or 13.8%, to $22.28, while Canada Goose Holdings picked up $1.55, or 13.4%, to $46.52.

In communications, Quebecor added 85 cents, or 2.6%, to $33.66, while Rogers Communications tacked on 54 cents, or 1%, to $54.06.

Among utilities, Canadian Utilities grew 69 cents, or 2.1%, to $33.97, while Northland Power acquired 95 cents, or 2.2%, to $43.60.

Aphria, for its part, fell $1.30, or 16.9%, the most on the TSX, to $6.41, after the pot producer missed estimates for its first-quarter revenue. Rival Aurora Cannabis dipped 26 cents, or 4.4%, to $5.70.

Among gold stocks, Teranga Gold retreated 28 cents, or 1.9%, to $14.29, while Yamana Gold stepped back 15 cents, or 1.9%, to $7.97.

In other resource stocks, Dundee Precious Metals lost 12 cents, or 1.2%, to $10.20, while MAG Silver ditched 33 cents, or 1.4%, to $23.91.

On the economic slate, the Canadian Real Estate Association said home sales climbed 0.9% in September from August, raising them to a new all-time monthly record for the third month in a row.

CREA also said actual sales, not seasonally adjusted, rose 45.6% from a year earlier, while the group's Home Price Index was up 10.3% from September last year and up 1.3% from August.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange stayed below breakeven 6.26 points to 727.38.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups had made their way into the sunlight by day’s end, with communications climbing 1%, consumer discretionary and utility stocks each gaining 0.8%.

The three laggards proved to be health-care, subsiding 1%, gold, dulling 0.8%, and materials, weaker by 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell for a third day in a row on Thursday as hope for a U.S. coronavirus stimulus deal continues to decrease while infections across Europe are on the rise.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average made up ground against the breakeven point after losses of about 300 points earlier in the day, but still fell short 19.8 points by Thursday’s closing bell to 28,494.20.

The S&P 500 fell 5.33 points to 3,483.34.

The NASDAQ was lower 54.86 points to 11,713.87.

Facebook led most of Big Tech lower, falling 1.9% amid rising regulatory concerns. Amazon dipped 0.8%. Alphabet and Microsoft each fell 0.5% and Apple dipped 0.4%. Those losses were somewhat offset by gains in bank and energy names. JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup were all up more than 1%. Exxon Mobil picked up 0.9% and Chevron gained 0.8%.

Morgan Stanley reported third quarter profit of $1.66 per share, exceeding the $1.28 estimate of analysts. It generated revenue of $11.7 billion on the back of strong trading, a billion dollars more than the estimate. Shares of Morgan Stanley were up 1.3%.

Walgreens also posted a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, helped by higher sales at U.S. pharmacies. The drugstore chain said it expects profit to grow in single digits in 2021. Shares of Walgreens popped 4.8%.

Investors are waiting for any sign a coronavirus aid deal is still possible. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the media that he and President Donald Trump are committed to getting a stimulus deal done and that while it will be hard to get one done before the election, they will keep trying.

Worse-than-expected jobless claims also weighed on sentiment. The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday 898,000 new claims were filed for jobless benefits in the prior week, higher than a Dow Jones estimate of 830,000.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury lost ground, lifting yields back up to Wednesday’s 0.73%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were down two cents at $41.02 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices moved ahead $4.60 to $1,911.90