TSX Drops in First Hour

CN, RBC in Focus

Equities in Canada’s biggest market slipped in early trade on Wednesday as Canadian National Railway fell sharply to hit its lowest level since March, while financials ticked higher as Royal Bank of Canada’s earnings beat expectations.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 8.43 points to open for business Wednesday at 16,021.21

The Canadian dollar slumped 0.19 cents to 77.85 cents U.S.

CN dropped $2.99, or 3%, to $97.00 in early trade.

Royal reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat market expectations helped by strong growth in its retail banking, investment banking and wealth management businesses. RBC gained 63 cents to $101.01

TransCanada Corp's Keystone crude pipeline must operate at a 20% pressure reduction after it re-starts, the U.S. pipeline regulator said on Tuesday, nearly two weeks after the line was shut after it leaked 5,000 barrels of oil in South Dakota.

TransCanada slid 50 cents to $63.05

CIBC raised the price target on Alimentation Couche-Tard to $77.00 from $71.00. Couche-Tard shares listed lower 23 cents to $64.52.

RBC raised the target price on Bank of Nova Scotia to $91 from $87. Scotiabank shares inched forward 11 cents to $81.84.

RBC cut the target price on Mountain Province Diamonds to $3.70 from $4.40. Mountain Province shares handed back nine cents, or 2.6%, to $3.41.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 1.96 points to 793.66

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower to start Wednesday, as gold, information technology and industrials each sank 0.7%.

The three gainers were energy, up 0.4%, while financials and consumer discretionary stocks each tacked on 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 reached all-time highs on Wednesday as investors bet the U.S. economy's momentum would continue.

The Dow added another 84.62 points to open Wednesday at 23,921.33, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase were the best-performing stocks in the Dow

The S&P 500 inched up 0.45 points to 2,627.49. The financials sector climbed 1% in early trade to lead the S&P 500, which traded 0.2% higher. The sector posted its best session since March 1 on Tuesday.

The NASDAQ Composite dropped 75.28 points to 6,837.08, as Facebook, Netflix, and Alphabet all dropped more than 1%.

In corporate news, Chipotle Mexican Grill said it has begun searching for a new CEO, with current Chief Executive Steve Ells becoming executive chairman. The fast-casual restaurant's stock jumped more than 4%

Meanwhile, analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Allergan to overweight from equal weight, noting that "fears about a 'better Botox' may be overdone." Allergan's stock rose more than 3%.

The U.S. economy has picked up steam this year, growing at an annualized rate of more than 3% each of the past two quarters.

The Commerce Department released its second read on third-quarter U.S. Gross Domestic Product, which showed the economy expanded at an annualized rate of 3.3%. The number matched estimates and surpassed an initial read of 3% growth.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note stumbled, raising yields to 2.39% from Tuesday’s 2.33%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped 23 cents a barrel to $57.88 U.S.

Gold prices dipped $1.30 to $1,293.10 U.S. an ounce.