Stocks Finish Fairly Flat

Real-Estate Leads Charge

Equities in Canada’s largest centre missed the breakeven mark Wednesday as losses in tech stocks nosed out advances in real estate.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index handed back 7.51 points to finish Wednesday at 15,721.

The Canadian dollar improved 0.07 cents to 80.13 cents U.S

Among real-estate concerns, Brookfield Asset Management climbed 52 cents, or 1%, to $52.67.

In the consumer staples sector, shares of Metro hiked $1.29, or 3.1%, to $42.82, while Alimentation Couche-Tard gained 45 cents to $58.50.

The materials sector, which includes miners and fertilizer companies, added strength as gold and other metal prices rose. Franco Nevada increased $1.12, or 1.2%, to $98.43, while Agnico Eagle Mines added 29 cents to $56.64.

Shopify, which was the most influential mover on the index, fell $16.75, or 11.5%, to $28.95 after short-seller Citron Research commented negatively about the company. BlackBerry shares downed eight cents to $13.82.

Among energy stocks, Pembina Pipeline staggered $1.00, or 2.3%, to $43.17, while Birchcliff Energy surrendered 17 cents, or 3%, to $5.53.

Industrials fell, as Waste Connection Inc dropped $1.21, or 1.4%, to $87.06, while Air Canada dropped 41 cents, or 1.6%, to $26.05.

Toronto home sales plunged in September from a year earlier and prices were down 15.5% from their April peak, but sales and prices inched up from August, suggesting housing in Canada's largest city may be stabilizing, data showed.

Canadian auto sales rose 7.7% in September, driven by strong demand for trucks, which made up for nearly 70% of total sales in the country.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.62 points to 783.93

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher on the day, with real-estate up 1%, consumer staples moving ahead 0.9%, and materials better by 0.6%.

The three laggards were information technology, down 1.4%, energy, backing away 0.5%, and industrials off 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks closed at record highs on Wednesday following the release of strong economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrials added 19.97 points to Tuesday’s record, closing Wednesday at 22,661.64. 3M and UnitedHealth contributed the most to the gains.

The S&P 500 advanced 3.16 points from Tuesday’s all-time record to 2,537.74. Utilities and real estate led advancers. The S&P also extended its winning streak to seven days, its longest since May.

The NASDAQ added 2.91 points to Tuesday’s record high to 6,534.63

Helping lift stocks was regained enthusiasm around the possibility of tax reform. Last week, Republicans unveiled sweeping changes to the U.S. tax code. The proposed changes would lower the corporate tax rate to 20% from 35%.

Investors sifted through key economic data on Wednesday. ADP and Moody's said that private-sector jobs grew by 135,000 in September, which is a sharp decline from August. The report from ADP and Moody's often serves as a preview to the government's employment situation report. The latest government read on jobs growth is set for release Friday morning.

Other data released Wednesday included the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index, which hit 59.8 in September. Last month's print easily beat the expected number of 55.5.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note regained lost ground, lowering yields to Tuesday’s 2.33%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dumped 54 cents a barrel to $49.88 U.S.

Gold prices stayed positive $3.10 to $1,277.30 U.S. an ounce