Selloff Continues in Toronto

Health-Care, Energy Weaken

Equities in Canada’s largest market continued to plunge to more recent lows on Tuesday as health-care and energy issues were pulled down.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index docked 139.21 points to end Tuesday at 15,955.51

The Canadian dollar regained 0.04 cents to 81.11 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks, especially in the cannabis sector, got bruised, especially Aurora Cannabis, down $1.19, or 9% at $11.79, and Canopy Growth, was down $2.53, or 7.6%, at $30.57.

Suncor Energy was among the biggest drags on the index, down $1.10, or 2.4%, at $44.44, while Canadian Natural Resources declined $1.09, or 2.5%, to $42.59.

Shares of Thomson Reuters bucked the downward trend, up $3.91, or 7.3%, at $57.50 after sources said Blackstone Group was in advanced talks to buy a majority stake in a key Thomson Reuters unit.

Consumer staples took a licking as well, as Restaurant Brands lost 32 cents to $74.34, while Loblaw Companies docked $3.27, or 3.3%, to $66.95.

Financials proved the one positive sector Tuesday, with Royal Bank moving up 33 cents to $105.47, while Scotiabank advanced 24 cents to $81.74.

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 plunged 20.85 points, or 2.4%, to 858.33

All but one of 12 TSX subgroups were lower midday, with health-care fading 4.9%, energy ditched 2.7%, and consumer staples fell 1.4%.

Financials proved the one gainer, up 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks closed 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 362.59 points, or 1.4%, to 26,076.89, with UnitedHealth as the biggest decliner. The 30-stock index also posted its biggest percentage decline since May, having fallen 411.06 points at its session low.

The S&P 500 slumped 31.1 points, or 1.1%, to 2,822.43, with health care as the worst-performing sector. The index also snapped its longest stretch ever without back-to-back declines of at least 0.5% It also had its worst day since August

The NASDAQ fell 64.02 points to 7,402.48

Shares of UnitedHealth were the worst performers on the Dow, falling 4.4%. 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 among the
biggest laggards in the S&P 500, dropping 6.7%.

In economic news, consumer confidence rose to 125.4 in January as Americans expect the U.S. economic momentum from 2017 to carry over into the New Year.

The Federal Reserve kicked off its latest two-day monetary policy meeting on Tuesday. Experts’ market expectations for a rate hike are just 5.2%.

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 2.72% from Monday’s 2.69%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices backtracked $1.22 a barrel to $64.34 U.S.

Gold prices dropped $3.70 to $1,341.40 U.S. an ounce.