Stocks End Friday Flat

Health-care Levers Up, Energy Weighs

Health-care Levers Up, Energy Weighs

Equities in Canada’s largest centre undulated Friday before coming rest just below breakeven, falling for the week.

The S&P/TSX Composite dipped 0.77 points to close Friday at 20,739.01, though the reading fell 151 points, or 0.73% for the last five sessions.

The Canadian dollar swooned 0.69 cents at 77.55 cents U.S.

Health-care led the crop of stocks with momentum, as Cronos Group sprang up 38 cents, or 7.5%, to $5.48, while OrganiGram Holdings churned up 14 cents, or 6.1%, to $2.44.

Among consumer staples, SunOpta popped 43 cents, or 5.3%, to $8.57, while Village Farms International jumped 47 cents, or 6.2%, to $8.01.

In the tech field, Nuvei Corp. heightened $6.90, or 11%, to $70.61, while BlackBerry added 66 cents, or 5.9%, to $11.86.

On the other side, Enerplus energy stocks lower, stepping back 74 cents, or 5.9%, to $11.75, while Crescent Point Energy faded 34 cents, or 5.7%, to $5.66.

Among financial stocks, BMO docked $2.13, or 1.6%, to $134.57, while Equitable Group docked $1.05, or 1.5%, to $67.73.

The rapid spread of Omicron coronavirus cases in the U.S. has forced some companies to pause plans to get workers back into office, while the number of cases in countries including Denmark, South Africa and Britain, has been doubling every two days.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported foreign investors acquired $23.9 billion of Canadian securities in October, the largest investment since April 2020. At the same time, Canadian investors increased their holdings of foreign securities by $5.4 billion, led by record purchases of non-U.S. foreign bonds.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regained 5.47 points to 893.92, still in the minus category for the week, though, by 15 points, or 1.66%.

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher on the session, with health-care better by 2.4%, consumer staples ahead 1.5%, and information technology, up 1.4%.

The two laggards were energy, down 1.9%, and financials, poorer by 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks came under pressure again in Friday’s volatile session with major averages on track for a losing week amid worries about tighter monetary policy and the ongoing pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrials floundered 532.20 points, or 1.5%, to conclude the week at 35,365.94

The S&P 500 index dumped 48.03 points, or 1%, to 4,620.64.

The NASDAQ sank 10.75 points at 15,169.68,

Friday coincided with the expiration of stock options, index options, stock futures and index futures — a quarterly event known as "quadruple witching" that typically comes with heightened volatility.

The major averages were on track to post a negative week with the NASDAQ being the biggest loser. The tech-heavy benchmark declined 2.9%, while the Dow and the S&P 500 were both down more than 1.5%.

The S&P financial sector was the biggest laggard on Friday after bank stocks outperformed in the previous session. Goldman Sachs lost nearly 4%, while Bank of America and JPMorgan both traded over 2% lower.

Many megacap tech shares traded in the red. Amazon and Microsoft both lost about 1%, while Alphabet and Meta Platforms also dipped 1% each. Microsoft lost more than 6% this week alone, and Apple is down 5% on the week.

Shares of one-time EV darling Rivian tumbled 11% Friday after the truck maker said it will fall short of its 2021 production target.

FedEx shares jumped 5% after quarterly earnings and revenue results topped expectations and it announced a $5 billion buyback. The shipper also reinstated its original 2022 EPS forecast.

COVID-19 vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer are on track to be the biggest gainers in the S&P 500 this week, Moderna with weekly returns of 14%, Pfizer higher 13%.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys gained slightly, lowering yields to 1.41% from Thursday’s 1.43%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped $1.97 to $70.41 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slid 60 cents to $1,797.60 U.S. an ounce.