Stocks Open Lower as Energy Issues Fall

Teck, T-D in Focus

Canada's main stock index opened modestly lower on Tuesday as energy shares were pulled down by lower oil prices, offsetting a rebound in gold producers.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index faded 74.3 points to open Tuesday at 16,020.42

The Canadian dollar eked up 0.1 cents to 81.07 cents U.S.

U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group LP is in advanced talks to buy an approximate 55% stake in the Financial and Risk business of Thomson Reuters, a deal which would value the unit at about $20 billion including debt.

Thomson Reuters shares gained $5.14, or 9.6%, to $58.73.

Canaccord Genuity raised the price target on Aphria Inc. to $26.50 from $23.50. Aphria shares docked 75 cents, or nearly 4%, to $18.24.

CIBC raised the price target on Teck Resources to $46.00 from $45.00. Teck shares decreased 15 cents to $36.09.

National Bank of Canada raised the target price on Toronto-Dominion Bank to $80 from $78. TD shares were unchanged at $74.25.

U.S. President Donald Trump's trade chief rejected Canadian proposals for unblocking North American Free Trade Agreement modernization talks on Monday but pledged to seek "breakthroughs" by late February, easing concerns that Washington would soon withdraw from the trilateral pact.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 8.34 points to 870.84

All but three of 12 TSX subgroups were lower to being the session, as health-care slumped 2.1%, energy was poorer 1.9%, and information technology clicked 1% lower.

The three laggards were gold, up 0.4%, while financials and consumer staples carved out gains of 0.1% each.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks traded sharply lower on Tuesday, falling for a second day as the first major selloff of the New Year intensified.

The Dow Jones industrial average swooned 266.81 points, or 1%, to 26,172.67, with UnitedHealth as the biggest decliner. The 30-stock index was also on track for its biggest two-day point drop since September 2016.

The S&P 500 slumped 30.01 points, or 1.1%, to 2,823.52, with health care as the worst-performing sector.

The NASDAQ plummeted 80.01 points, or 1.1%, to 7,386.50

Shares of UnitedHealth were the worst performers on the Dow, falling 4.9%. UnitedHealth fell after Amazon, J.P. Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway announced plans to partner on ways to cut health-care costs. Express Scripts' stock, meanwhile, was the biggest laggard in the S&P 500, dropping 10.2%.

In economic news, consumer confidence numbers were slated for release at 10 a.m. ET.

Elsewhere, President Donald Trump is expected to deliver his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell back, raising yields to 2.71% from Monday’s 2.69%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices backtracked $1.30 a barrel to $64.26 U.S.

Gold prices recovered five dollars to $1,350.10 U.S. an ounce.