Stocks Endure Sharp Losses

Suncor, Natural Resources Take Pounding

Canada's main stock index fell on Friday as weakness in commodity prices fueled a decline in shares of the heavyweight natural resource sectors.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index plummeted 165.11 points, or 1%, to reach noon Friday at 15,695.81

The Canadian dollar hurtled lower 0.89 cents to 80.67 cents U.S.

The energy group retreated Suncor Energy slipped 0.8% to $44.27, and Canadian Natural Resources dropped 1.2% to $41.99.

The financials group slipped as Bank of Nova Scotia gave back 0.4% to $80.41, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce lost 0.4% to $120.59.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost ground, as Barrick Gold Corp slipped 2.7% to $17.23, and Goldcorp fell 2.2% to $17.14.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dipped 29.4 points, or 3.5%, to 814.31

All 12 TSX subgroups suffered losses midday, as health-care weakened 5.2%, materials dropped 2.1%, and energy flagged 1.9%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks fell sharply on Friday after a stronger-than-expected jobs report sent interest rates higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial thundered lower 382.87points, or 1.5%, to 25,803.84, with Exxon Mobil sliding 5.4%

The S&P 500 settled 32.76 points, or 1.2%, to 2,789.22, with energy as the worst-performing sector.

The NASDAQ backtracked 85.71 points, or 1.2%, to 7,300.15, as a decline in Apple and Alphabet offset a strong gain in Amazon shares.

The Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ were on pace to snap four-week winning streaks. The indexes were also on track for their worst weekly performance in two years.

Wall Street also looked to the release of key corporate earnings. Exxon Mobil reported weaker-than-expected earnings on Friday, sending its stock lower.

Tech giants Apple and Amazon reported quarterly results Thursday after the close. Apple shares, however, traded 2.7% lower. Amazon popped 5.1% to an all-time high. Shares of Google-parent Alphabet, meanwhile, fell 4.9% after its earnings missed expectations.

About halfway through the earnings season, most companies have posted upside surprises. Of the S&P 500 companies that have reported as of Friday morning, 78% have beaten bottom-line expectations, while 80% have surpassed sales estimates

Economically speaking, the U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in January, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists expected growth of 180,000 jobs. Wages, meanwhile, rose 0.3% last month, in line with expectations.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell sharply, raising yields to 2.84% from Thursday’s 2.78%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices sank $1.04 a barrel to $64.76 U.S.

Gold prices $14.20 to $1,333.70 U.S. an ounce.