Canadian Markets Fade by Wednesday Close

IBM Posts Best Day Since ‘09

Equities in Canada’s largest market ran out of steam and actually finished in the red on Wednesday, as lower showings by health-care and gold overwhelmed gains in the industrial sector.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped 34.74 points to close Wednesday at 15,782.16

The Canadian dollar zoomed 0.36 cents to 80.26 cents U.S.

Cannabis concerns held down health-care stocks, as Aphria collapsed 16 cents, or 2.3%, to $6.70, while Canopy Growth settled 25 cents, or 2%, to $12.27.

Gold dulled in price, as Kinross Gold dropped eight cents, or 1.4%, to $5.30, while Barrick Gold gave back 17 cents to $20.16.

In consumer staples, Loblaw lost 58 cents to $68.37, and Saputo Inc. tailed off 49 cents, or 1.1%, to $43.77.

Canadian Pacific Railway led a charge by industrials, the stock powering ahead $11.15, or 5.3%, to $220.82, while rival Canadian National gained 76 cents to $101.14.

Magna International starred among consumer discretionary issues, climbing $1.64, or 2.5%, to $68.58, while Gildan Activewear gained 33 cents to $39.17.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada said manufacturing sales increased 1.6% to $53.5 billion in August, breaking a two-month losing streak. The gain was mainly attributable to higher sales in the transportation equipment, and petroleum and coal product industries.

Sales were up in eight of the 21 industries, representing 66% of the Canadian manufacturing sector.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 6.39 points by the end of session to 786.82

The 12 TSX subgroups were evenly divided on Wednesday, as industrials chugged along 1.4%, consumer discretionaries gained 0.7%, while utilities picked up 0.5%.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed by health-care, sliding 1.3%, gold, off 1.2%, and consumer staples, falling 0.7%.

ON WALLSTREET

Blue-chips in New York found new heights to hit Wednesday, after tech giant International Business Machines reported better-than-expected quarterly results.

The Dow Jones Industrials index leaped 160.62 points over Tuesday’s all-time record to 23,157.60,

The Dow also crossed above 23,000 again on Wednesday. The index first broke above 23,000 on Tuesday, but closed just below the mark.

The Dow traded above 23,000 just 76 days after first breaking above 22,000.

The S&P 500 squeezed higher 1.9 points to 2,561.26

The NASDAQ eked up 0.56 points to 6,624.22

Equities have been on a record-setting run this year as the three major indexes have risen more than 10%.

IBM posted adjusted earnings per share of $3.30 on revenue of $19.15 billion Tuesday after the close. Analysts expected “Big Blue” to report earnings of $3.28 per share on sales of $18.6 billion. The company's stock surged more than 8% in early trade and was on track for its biggest one-day rise since January 2009. The IT giant also reported its 22nd consecutive quarter of declining revenue, however.

"Big Blue", as it’s called, jumped in price Wednesday by $12.99 a share, or 8.9%, to $159.53.

This earnings season has gotten off to a good start, with more than 80% of companies that have reported beating on the bottom line, while 73% have topped sales estimates

United Continental, eBay and Dow component American Express are set to report after the close Wednesday.

Companies that reported Wednesday before the bell included Abbott Labs, M&T Bank and Supervalu.

Northern Trust also posted quarterly results, beating top and bottom-line estimates. The company's stock rose 3.8% and was the second-best performer on the S&P 500, which hit an intraday record in early trade.

Hopes of U.S. tax reform have received a boost lately after the House passed a $4.1-trillion budget. The Senate is expected to vote on a budget bill this week.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note tanked, raising yields to 2.34% from Tuesday’s 2.3%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices took on 11 cents a barrel to $51.99 U.S.

Gold prices settled $3.50 an ounce to $1,282.70 U.S.