Stocks Cling Tenaciously to Gains at Noon Hour

Canopy, Aphria in Forefront

Equities in Toronto rose on Tuesday, as gold miners tracked bullion prices higher, while hopes that a new U.S. stimulus bill would lead to a swift economic recovery also lifted sentiment.

The S&P/TSX Composite remained above water 38.6 points to move into lunch hour Tuesday at 18,368.86.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.16 cents to 78.66 cents U.S.

Canopy Growth said it expects to turn a profit in the second half of 2022 after aggressive cost-cutting and higher demand for cannabis products helped narrow third-quarter losses. Canopy Growth gained $5.79, or 10.4%, to $61.51.

SNC-Lavalin Group said it would sell its oil and gas business to Kentech Corporate Holdings, an energy services company backed by private equity firm Blue Water Energy. SNC shares took on $2.21, or 9.7%, to $25.00.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Aphria, which jumped $4.80, or 19.9%, to $28.96, and Aurora Cannabis, which rose $1.38, or 7.3%, to $20.31.

Cenovus Energy fell 43 cents, or 5.2%, the most on the TSX, to $7.78, after posting a bigger-than-expected loss, hit by uneven demand for fuel due to renewed COVID-19 travel restrictions and weaker refinery operations.

Rival Vermilion Energy skidded 20 cents, or 3%, to $6.58.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 7.36 points from its recent high levels to 1,070.49.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups had turned negative by noon hour, with energy trudging 2%, while materials and gold each slid 0.9%.

The four gainers were led by health-care, sprinting 7.8%, information technology, ahead 1.5%, and industrials, up 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks held steady on Tuesday as the market’s blistering rally in February took a pause.

The Dow Jones Industrials squeezed higher 0.94 points higher to 31,386.70

The S&P 500 sank 1.91 points to 3,913.68.

The NASDAQ Composite added to its all-time record, 34.65 points to 14,022.29.

Facebook and Netflix rose more than 1% each, while Microsoft and Alphabet also traded in the green.

Investors could be taking some chips off the table following a strong rally boosted by optimism for a smooth reopening amid the COVID vaccine rollout. Cyclical sectors, which had outperformed in recent weeks, led the declines. Energy fell 2.4%, paring its month-to-date gains to 10%. Financials dipped 0.5% after rallying more than 7% this month.

However, Bank of America said a market correction could be on the horizon as the recent runup has shown signs of overheating, but it will be a buying opportunity for equity investors.

Lawmakers in Washington appear to be moving closer to another economic relief bill. House Democrats on Monday unveiled the details of a relief proposal that included $1,400 direct cheques with faster phase-outs than previous bills. Many believe additional stimulus could help drive the stock market higher

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys regained ground, lowering yields to 1.15% from Monday’s 1.18%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained 35 cents to $58.32 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $4.60 to $1,838.80 U.S. an ounce.