TSX Down 250+ in Broad-Based Retreat

Health-Care Takes Brunt of Selloff

Stocks in Canada’s largest centre were in free-fall 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 254.89 points, or 1.6%, to close Friday and the week at 15,606.03

The Canadian dollar hurtled lower 1.08 cents to 80.48 cents U.S.

All sectors took losses Friday, most notably, the health-care sector, where Aphria Inc. crumbled $1.61, or 10.4%, to $13.87, while Canopy Growth Corporation shed $3.13, or 11.4%, to $24.42.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost ground, as Pretium Resources skidded 31 cents, or 3.7%, to $8.15, while First Majestic Silver gave back 40 cents, or 5.4%, to $7.02.

In the gold sector, Barrick Gold slipped 62 cents, or 3.5%, to $17.08, and Goldcorp fell 36 cents, or 2.1%, to $17.16.

The energy group retreated Suncor Energy slipped 68 cents, or 1.5%, to $43.94, and Canadian Natural Resources dropped 63 cents, or 1.5%, to $41.86.

The financials group slipped as Bank of Nova Scotia gave back 68 cents to $80.06, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce lost $1.75, or 1.5%, to $119.29.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dipped 32.03 points, or 3.8%, Friday to 811.68

All 12 TSX subgroups finished in the red, as health-care weakened 5.9%, materials dropped 2.7%, and gold stocks dulled in price 2.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

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

The Dow Jones Industrial collapsed 672.16 points, or 2.6%, to 25,514.55, with Exxon Mobil sliding 5.3%. Friday also marked the first time since June 2016 that the Dow fell at least 500 points.

The S&P 500 faltered 59.99 points, or 2.1%, to 2,761.99, with energy as the worst-performing sector.

The NASDAQ backtracked 144.92 points, or 2%, to 7,240.95, as a decline in Apple and Alphabet offset a strong gain in Amazon shares.

The Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ snapped 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 giant Apple reported better-than-expected quarterly results. But the stock fell 4.4% after the company said it expects profit margins of 38% to 38.5% tighter than the expected 38.9%. Apple also reported lighter-than-expected iPhone sales for its previous quarter.

Google-parent Alphabet also reported quarterly results, with earnings per share missing expectations. The company's stock dropped 5.3% on the back of the report.

Amazon, meanwhile, surged to an all-time high on the back of its earnings report. The e-commerce giant said its Amazon Web Services sales — a key component for the company — hit $5.11 billion. Analysts expected AWS revenue of $4.97 billion.

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, according to Thomson Reuters

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 71 cents a barrel to $65.09 U.S.

Gold prices dropped $15.10 to $1,332.80 U.S. an ounce.