Equities dip into red by close

Health-stocks take ill in afternoon

Canada's main stock index finished Wednesday in negative territory, as health-care sector rose, led by cannabis producers, reversed earlier gains and fell hard.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index dipped 46.12 points to finish Wednesday at 16,149.92

The Canadian dollar inched higher 0.25 cents to 77.35 cents.

Business and political leaders are increasing the pressure on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to agree on a deal to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement and drop his insistence that no deal is better than a bad deal.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland will hold fresh talks on NAFTA with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington on Wednesday as a U.S.-imposed deadline of Oct. 1 looms.

Health-care stocks, high-flying through much of the morning, faded by day’s end. Aurora Cannabis caved 41 cents, or 3.7%, to $10.61, while rival Canopy Growth stumbled $4.59, or 6.8%, to $62.74.

Telecoms were also off, as BCE slouched 75 cents, or 1.4%, to $51.89, while Rogers Communications docked $1.59, or 2.3%, to $66.76.

Canadian Pacific Railway dropped $3.03, or 1.1% to $265.68, and SNC-Lavalin sank 58 cents, or 1.1%, to $52.07.

Gold stocks shone a beacon in the dark, as Goldcorp picked up 15 cents, or 1.1%, to $13.95, while Barrick Gold acquired nine cents to $13.70.

Among materials, Agnico Eagle Mines soared 24 cents to $45.00, while First Quantum Minerals popped 71 cents, or 4.4%, to $16.85.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 9.3 points, or 1.3%, to 714.45

Seven of the 12 subgroups were lower by the session’s end, with health-care withering 4.1%, telecoms down 1.9%, and industrials off 1.1%.

The five gainers were led by gold, going north 1.4%, materials were in the green 0.6%, and energy, up 0.3%.


ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rose on Wednesday bank shares got a lift from higher interest rates. Sentiment on Wall Street was also boosted as investors bet that a trade war between the U.S. and China will not be as bad as previously feared.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average came off their highs of the day, but still succeeded 158.8 points to conclude Wednesday at 26,405.76, with Goldman Sachs as the best-performing stock in the index.

The S&P 500 squeaked up 3.64 points to 2,907.95, as financials jumped nearly 2%.

The NASDAQ ducked 6.07 points to 7,950.04, as Amazon, Netflix and Apple all fell.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America all rose nearly 3%. Shares of J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup, meanwhile, advanced 3.3% each.

Boeing shares rose 0.5% while Caterpillar climbed 2.5%. Both companies are seen as bellwethers for global trade given their large exposure to overseas markets.

China slapped tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods on Tuesday. Prior to that, the Trump administration had put levies on about $200 billion worth of Chinese products.

Tesla shares fell 0.6% after the company said the Justice Department last month requested documents regarding CEO Elon Musk's tweets in early August about taking the company private. The New York Times also reported the Securities and Exchange Commission has sent subpoenas to Goldman Sachs and Silver Lake, which helped Tesla evaluate going private.

Netflix shares rose as much as 2.7% before trading flat, after analysts at Guggenheim hiked their price target on the stock to $420 from $360, implying a 14.2% upside from Tuesday's close.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury demurred, upping yields to 3.08% from Tuesday’s 3.05%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were stronger by $1.25 to $71.10 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices perked $5.50 to $1,208.40