TSX Red on the Day, Green on Week

Knight, Gildan in Focus

Equities in Canada’s largest centre gave it the old college try, but still finished lower Friday, on weakness by health and consumer stocks.

The TSX lost 44.42 points to close Friday at 17,548.92. Still, the index gained on the week nearly 28 points.

The Canadian dollar surrendered 0.16 cents to 78.32 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks took the worst bruising, as Knight Therapeutics dropped 14 cents, or 2.6%, to $5.21, while Canopy Growth swooned 97 cents, or 2.8%, to $33.86.

Among consumer discretionary stocks, Gildan Activewear gave back $1.21, or 3.4%, to $34.55, while Martinrea International stumbled 48 cents, or 3.1%, to $14.87.

In materials, Endeavour Mining dropped 77 cents, or 2.6%, to $29.41, while ERO Copper lost 76 cents, or 4%, to $18.03.

Consumer staples fared the best of the groups picking up ground, most notably, NorthWest Company, up 82 cents, or 2.3%, to$35.84, while Empire Company added 77 cents, or 2.2%, to $35.71.

In communications, Cogeco Communications tallied $2.26, or 2.4%, to $98.15, while Quebecor jumped 39 cents, or 1.2%, to $32.79.

In industrial stocks, Transcontinental gained $1.96, or 9.7%, to $22.19, while WSP Global leaped $2.64, or 2.2%, to $123.37.

Speaking of things macroeconomic, Statistics Canada reported the ratio of Canadian household debt-to-income narrowed to 170.9% in the third quarter from a revised 172.1% in the second quarter.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange sprinted 4.96 points, to end the day at 780.30, a gain on the week of 11.2 points, or 1.46%.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower on the day, as health-care lost 1.7%, consumer discretionary interests fell 1.4%, and materials skidded 0.5%

The five gainers were led by consumer staples, rising 0.5%, communications, better by 0.3%, and industrials, improving 0.2%.

The three gainers were consumer staples, edging up 0.2%, while utilities made it 0.1% past breakeven, and gold, crept up but 0.04%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 fell on Friday, wrapping up a losing week, as the outlook for additional fiscal stimulus remained uncertain.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed out of a hole to gain 47.11 points to conclude Friday and the week at 30,046,37.

The S&P 500 ditched 4.64 points to 3,663.46.

The NASDAQ finished negative 27.94 points to 12,377.87.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 posted their first weekly declines in three weeks, the Dow losing 0.6% and S&P tailing off 1%. The NASDAQ dropped 0.7% this week.

Friday’s decline came as negotiations over a coronavirus relief deal dragged on. Lawmakers seek to pass a bill before lifelines expire at the end of 2020, but disagreements over state and local stimulus, unemployment assistance and stimulus checks still exist.

News reports have Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s staff informing congressional leadership offices that Senate Republicans likely would not support a $908-billion bipartisan proposal. Earlier on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that bipartisan negotiations were leading to "great progress."

The House has passed a one-week federal spending extension to avoid a shutdown through Dec. 18 to buy more time to reach a stimulus agreement.

Without fresh stimulus, millions of Americans could lose unemployment benefits in the New Year. Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims jumped last week to 853,000, the highest total since Sept. 19, as new lockdown restrictions weighed on businesses amid rising coronavirus cases.

Share of companies hardest hit by the pandemic recession fell on Friday. Carnival dropped 4.5%, United Airlines slipped 2.6%, and Gap lost 3.6%. Hyatt Hotels traded lower by about 1.4%. Tesla shares fell 2.7% after a surprise downgrade by Jefferies.

Bucking the negative trend was Disney. On Thursday, the company said its Disney+ service has 86.8 million subscribers and expects have between 230 million to 260 million subscribers by 2024. The stock rose 13.6% on Friday.

Sentiment was downbeat on Friday even as a key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended the approval of Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.

The recommendation marked the last step before the Food and Drug Administration gives the final approval to broadly distribute the first doses throughout the U.S.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 0.89% from Thursday’s 0.91%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices docked 17 cents to $46.61 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices picked up $5.50 to $1,842.90.