TSX Remains in Red

Tech Stocks Weigh Heaviest

Equities in Toronto were still on the downside looking up midday Friday as tech companies dragged, amid surprisingly robust domestic jobs data

The S&P/TSX Composite Index had slid 63.53 to greet noon at 16,003.95

The Canadian dollar surged 1.18 cents to 78.74 cents U.S.

BlackBerry fell 2.2% to $13.61 after agreeing to pay Nokia about $137 million in a contract dispute, while Barrick Gold slipped 0.7% to $17.70 after saying it had bought a stake in a smaller gold miner.

The energy group climbed, as oil prices rose following a deal among major producer to extend an output curb.

MEG Energy rose 2.6% to $5.60 after the oil sands producer said it expects higher production in 2018, compared to its 2017 forecast.

The financials group settled, though Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was up 2% at $120.48, extending gains as several analyst upgraded their view on the stock following its Thursday earnings beat.

BRP Inc jumped early before pulling back to trade up 1.4% to $47.84 after the Ski-Doo maker posted earnings that beat expectations.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported that Gross Domestic Product rose 0.2% in September after edging down 0.1% in August.

Goods-producing, which rose 0.4%, and services-producing (+0.1%) industries gained as 12 of 20 industrial sectors grew, led by the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector.

Growth in GDP slowed to 0.4% in the third quarter, following a 1.0% increase in the second quarter. Increased household final consumption expenditure, up 1.0%, was the main contributor, while exports, which slid 2.7%, moderated growth.

The agency also declared that the economy created 80,000 jobs in November. The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 5.9%, the lowest rate since February 2008.

GDP was expected to show growth of 1.6% on an annualized basis for the third quarter.

Experts were looking for an addition of 10,000 jobs in November, bringing the unemployment rate down to 6.2%.

The seasonally-adjusted IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index registered 54.4 in November, little changed from October’s nine-month low of 54.3.

On Thursday, StatsCan reported that Canada's current account deficit in the third quarter swelled to $19.35 billion, the third largest in history, as the country's international trade gap in goods continued to expand

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange lost 3.09 points to 785.50

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower by noon ET, with information technology stocks down 1.8%, consumer discretionary stocks trailing 1.4%, and industrials off 1.2%.

Only energy showed promise, gaining 1.3%

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell Friday on a report that Michael Flynn was directed by President Trump to talk to Russians.

The Dow Jones Industrials slumped 124.21 points to 24,148.14

The S&P 500 lost 16.54 points to 2,631.04

The NASDAQ Composite stumbled 65.28 points to 6,808.69

Media reports are circulating that Flynn, the former national security adviser, would testify that he was directed to make contact with the Russians.

In a statement, Flynn said he agreed to "cooperate with the Special Counsel's Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country."

Senate had Republicans delayed voting on their tax bill Thursday, sending stock futures lower. The setback concerned a fiscal "trigger" that forced lawmakers to patch up the plan only hours before a planned final vote.

But futures cut their losses as the Senate showed signs of progress on coming to an agreement on a tax measure.

In corporate news, shares of Mylan jumped 3.5% after media outlets reported that Amazon has held preliminary talks with generic drug makers about a potential entry into pharmaceuticals.

Ulta Beauty was the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500, falling 5.8%, after the cosmetics retailer issued weaker-than-expected guidance for the current quarter.

On the data front, the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index fell to 58.2 in November from a 58.7 reading in October.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note went higher, lowering yields to 2.36% from Thursday’s 2.42%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $1.08 a barrel to $58.48 U.S.

Gold prices sprang back up again $7.70 to $1,284.40 U.S. an ounce.