Another Negative Session for TSX

Aphria, Bombardier in Focus

Equities in Canada’s biggest centre saw another promising day go by the wayside Thursday, as losses in health-care and industrials overran gains in the utility sector.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index came off its lows of the afternoon, but still lost 32.71 points on the day to 14,750.35

The Canadian dollar skimmed off 0.01 cents to 74.90 U.S.

Aphria Inc was weighed 76 cents, or 9.8%, to $7.02, while Canopy Growth shed $1.57, or 3.7%, to $41.27.

Industrials got roughed up, too, as Bombardier listed lower 14 cents, or 6%, to $2.11, while Air Canada was grounded 88 cents, or 3.4%, to $25.38.

Among communications concerns, BCE dropped 83 cents, or 1.5%, to $56.00, while Shaw Communications lost seven cents to $25.00.

Utility stocks, on the other hand, had a fine day, with Hydro One gaining 11 cents to $20.92, while Fortis Inc. gained 59 cents, or 1.3%, to $47.13.

Empire Co rose $2.72, or 10.6%, the most on the sector, to $28.48, after the company reported second-quarter results that topped analysts' expectations. Tim Hortons parent Restaurant Brands International skated forward 65 cents to $72.89.

Gold stocks performed well, as Barrick Gold took on 12 cents to $18.87, while Kinross inched ahead three cents to $3.88.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada’s new housing price was unchanged on a national basis for a third month in a row. In October, new home buyers in 16 of the 27 census metropolitan areas surveyed saw flat or lower prices.

Prices at the national level have remained largely unchanged since November 2017.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange sank 5.28 points to 556.96.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups finished the day in the red, as health-care ailed 3.8%, industrials were weaker 1.1%, and communications hesitated 0.7%.

The three gainers were utilities, picking up 0.6%, consumer staples were better by 0.5%, and gold improved 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks seesawed on Thursday while investors digested new developments in the ongoing U.S.-China trade war and Wall Street’s volatile week approached its end.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 70.11 points to 24,597.38, after alternating between gains and losses throughout the day. A sharp rebound in General Electric contributed to the early rise in equities.

The S&P 500 let go of 0.53 points to 2,650.54

The NASDAQ dropped 27.98 points to 7,070.33, as Amazon and Alphabet gave up their initial gains.

General Electric shares jumped more than 7% after J.P. Morgan analyst Stephen Tusa, a longtime bear on the company, upgraded GE. The analyst cited a more “balanced risk reward at current levels.”

Market participants are gradually becoming more optimistic about the prospect of the U.S. and China reaching a comprehensive trade agreement. It follows a flurry of news this week pointing to cooling tensions between the two global powers.

On Wednesday, media reports circulated that Chinese state-owned companies had at least 500,000 tons of U.S. soybeans. It was the first major U.S. soybean purchases in more than six months, and the clearest sign to date that China plans to step up efforts to support its slowing economy.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury were lower, raising yields to Wednesday’s 2.91%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices jumped $2.02 to $53.17 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices retreated $2.90 to $1,247.10 U.S. an ounce.