Stocks Limp to Finish for Week

Gold Falters, Energy Chugs Ahead

Markets in Toronto knew pretty much the same ebbs and flows as their American cousins, before finishing Friday only slightly below breakeven.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index slid 28.51 to end the day and the week at 16,038.97

The Canadian dollar surged 1.23 cents to 78.78 cents U.S.

Gold issues were tattered the worst, as Goldcorp sank 16 cents, or 1%, to $16.15, while Kinross Gold subsided 19 cents, or 3.4%, to $5.21.

Among techs, BlackBerry fell 24 cents, or 1.7%, to $13.68 after agreeing to pay Nokia about $137 million in a contract dispute. Avigilon finished unchanged at $20.74.

Among other miners, Agnico Eagle Mines capsized $1.06, or 1.9%, to $55.49, while Frontier Lithium lost four cents, or 6%, to 63 cents.

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

MEG Energy rose five cents to $5.51 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 $3.06, or 2.6%, at $121.20, extending gains as several analysts upgraded their view on the stock following its Thursday earnings beat.

RBC gained 31 cents to $101.16.

Among consumer staples, Loblaw Companies acquired 10 cents to $68.03, while Metro gained 22 cents to $40.63.

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, rising 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 overcame negative readings before squeezing higher by 0.11 points to 789

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower on the day, with gold fading 1.4%, information technology ticking lower 1.3%, and materials off 1.2%

The three gaining groups included energy, progressing 1.2%, while financials and consumer staples each hiked 0.2%

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks finished lower on Friday after a report that Michael Flynn was directed by President Trump to talk to Russians sent investors on a wild ride.

The Dow Jones Industrials came off its lows of the day, briefly dropping 350.45 points before ending the day down 40.76 points to 24,231.59

The S&P 500 lost 5.36 points to 2,642.22. In what amounted to the wildest trading day since the election, the S&P 500 traded in a range of 1.7%, the widest since Nov. 9, 2016

The NASDAQ Composite stumbled 26.39 points to 6,847.59

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 4.4% after media reports that Amazon has held preliminary talks with generic drug makers about a potential entry into pharmaceuticals.

Ulta Beauty was among the worst-performing stocks in the S&P 500, falling 4.1% 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 2.37% from Thursday’s 2.42%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 94 cents a barrel to $58.34 U.S.

Gold prices gained seven dollars to $1,283.70 U.S. an ounce.