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TSX Beaten up by Noon

BCE Feeling Around for Bruises Amid Layoffs

Canada's main stock index got bruised by noon EST on Thursday, weighed down by the communication services sector, while investors remained cautious ahead of the key domestic employment data due later this week.

The TSX Composite gave back 163.31 points to 20,805.87.

The Canadian dollar settled 0.05 cents at 74.23 cents U.S.

Telecom firm BCE lost $2.20, or 4.2%, to $50.87, after it announced the company's largest workforce reduction - around 4,800 job cuts - in nearly three decades, dragging the communication services sector with it.

In other corporate news, software company Lightspeed Commerce fell $4.89, or 18.6%, to $21.44, to the bottom of the index after forecasting revenue figures for 2024 below analyst estimates.

Fairfax Holdings lost $172.40, or 12.3%, to $1,232.00 after short-seller Muddy Waters placed bets against the shares of Canadian insurer, alleging manipulation in asset values.


The TSX Venture Exchange slid 1.32 points to 546.

All but three of the 12 subgroups were lower in the first hour, with communications plunging 2.3%, utilities sank 1.4%, and financials poorer by 1.3%.

The three gainers were information technology, up 0.8%, energy, up 0.5%, and real-estate, inching ahead 0.1%.


Stocks were mixed during Thursday trading, with the S&P 500 on the brink of breaching the 5,000 milestone for the first time ever.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 110.06 points to pause for lunch at 38,567.30.

The S&P 500 index dipped 5.3 points to 4,989.76.

The NASDAQ index reversed the trend and gained 31.68 points to 15,788.32.

Earnings remained top of mind for investors, with Disney surging nearly 12% after beating quarterly earnings estimates and raising its guidance. Chipmaker and designer Arm jumped 56% after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings and providing an upbeat profit forecast.

Markets also wrestled with the notion of fewer rate cuts than previously expected this year after recent commentary from the central bank and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell dashed hopes for a cut in March.

So far this season, 77% of S&P 500 companies have topped earnings expectations, while about 68% have beaten sales forecasts, according to FactSet. These strong earnings, and a continued chug higher in 2023's winning megacap technology stocks, have boosted the market in recent sessions.

The earnings season continues after the bell with reports from Expedia, Affirm Holdings and Take-Two Interactive

Prices for the 10-year Treasury sagged, raising yields 4.16% from Wednesday’s 4.12%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices surged $2.05 to $75.91 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices backpedaled $5.50 to $2,046.20.