Stocks Go South by Closing Bell

Staples, Energy Bear Brunt of Selloff

Canada’s largest stock index turned sharply lower, as losses in consumer staple stocks overrode gains for gold

The S&P/TSX Composite Index faltered 75.06 points to close the day at 15,477

The Canadian dollar inched up 0.12 cents to 77.98 cents U.S.

Weighing on the index was a drop of $1.67, or 2.5%, by shares in Loblaw Companies to $64.56, while shares in Saputo doffed 55 cents, or 1.3%, to $41.05.

Among energy concerns, Enbridge slid $2.18, or 5.5%, to $37.64, while Imperial Oil ditched 70 cents, or 1.8%, to $37.45

In the industrial sector, Canadian National Railways fell 46 cents to $96.12, while Air Canada lost nine cents to $25.63.

Barrick Gold Corp. said it was done selling assets to cut debt and would instead use funds from future sales for growth or to pay dividends. Its shares rose 60 cents, or 3.6%, to $17.18.

Centerra Gold was up 23 cents, or 3% to $8.02, after Chaarat Gold Holdings offered to buy the company’s gold mine Kumtor, the largest in Kyrgyzstan.

In materials, Falco Resources gave back 2.8% to 70 cents, while Treasury Metals dove 4% to 48 cents,

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Mitel Networks Corp, which rose $1.25, or 9.6%, to $14.29, after the company said it is selling itself to an investor group led by Searchlight Capital Partners for about $2 billion.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange withered 8.17 points, or 1%, to 789.24

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative on the day, as consumer staples sagged 1.5%, while energy fell 0.9%, and industrials were 0.7% to the bad.

The three gainers were gold, shining brighter by 0.9%, materials, up 0.3%, and health-care, inching ahead 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell on Tuesday, giving up earlier gains, as investors worried about rising interest rates and reacted to comments on a conference call from bellwether Caterpillar that hinted economic growth may slow later in the year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average collapsed 424.56 points, or 1.7%, to 24,024.13, after rising as much as 131 points shortly after the open of trading. The 30-stock index dropped 751.21 points from its session high all the way down to its lows of the day.

The S&P 500 settled back 35.73 points, or 1.3%, to 2,634.56

The NASDAQ Composite index staggered 121.25 points, or 1.7%, to 7,007.35, as shares of Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Netflix all dropped more than 3.5%.

Caterpillar reported earnings and revenue that beat expectations, sending the stock higher initially. But the industrial giant's shares rolled over later in the day, falling 6.2%. Caterpillar CFO Bradley Halverson said during a conference call that the company's outlook assumed that the first quarter would be "the high watermark for the year."

The construction equipment maker is a barometer for the state of the economy and the overall market. Caterpillar's stock has a 0.81 correlation with the Dow over the last six months, according to Kensho. A correlation of 1 would mean the two move in lockstep with each other.

3M reported quarterly earnings that met analyst expectations, but the stock dropped about 6.8% after the company lowered its full-year profit forecast. Alphabet, meanwhile, topped bottom-line estimates but its stock declined more than 4.5%

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped slightly, raising yields to 3% from Monday’s 2.98%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped 79 cents a barrel to $67.85 U.S.

Gold prices regained nine dollars to $1,333.00 U.S. an ounce.