Stocks Plunge Yet Again

Nutrien, WestJet in Focus


Canada’s main stock index fell to a five-month low on Tuesday, as a selloff in global markets weighed on investor sentiment, while domestic data showed a wider-than-expected trade deficit.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index slumped 100.35 points, to begin Tuesday at 15,234.46

The Canadian dollar nosed up 0.09 cents to 79.85 cents U.S.

Nutrien, the fertilizer and farm supply dealer created from the merger of Agrium Inc and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan this year, said it expected demand growth for potash in China and India to cool down in 2018.

Nutrien dipped $3.32, or 5%, to $57.41.

WestJet Airlines reported a 12% fall in fourth-quarter earnings, hurt by higher operating expenses as fuel prices increase.

WestJet shares lost 14 cents to $23.90.

RBC raised the target price on CAE Inc. to $25.00 from $24.00. CAE shares let go of three cents to $21.71.

RBC cut the target price on Element Fleet Management to $8.00 from $12.00. Element shares fell $2.36, or 29.6%, to $5.96.

Morgan Stanley cut the price target on Rogers Communications to $65.00 from $71.00. Rogers shares inched up eight cents to $57.95.

On the economic docket, Statistics Canada that our merchandise trade deficit with the world totaled $3.2 billion in December, widening from a $2.7-billion deficit in November. Imports rose 1.5% and exports were up 0.6%.

Western University’s Purchasing Managers’ Index was also released Tuesday, and the seasonally-adjusted index fell to 55.2 in January from 60.4 in December, and 57.2 in January 2017. A reading above 50 indicates an increase in the pace of activity.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange recovered 2.21 points, to reach 805.44

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower in the first hour of trading, with utilities and consumer staples each settling 1.1%, while financials tailed off 1%

The two gainers were health-care, up 4.1%, and energy, up 0.6%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks erased earlier losses on Tuesday as the major indexes tried to recover from a recent steep selloff.

The Dow Jones Industrial recovered 272.86 points, or 1.1%, to 24,618.57, Caterpillar and Apple were the best-performing stocks on the Dow, rising more than 2%.

The S&P 500 regained 30.22 points, or 1.2%, to 2,679.16, with information technology as the best-performing sector.

The NASDAQ erased 273.42 points, or 3.8%, to 6,967.53, as shares of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet all rose more than 1%.

On Monday, the Dow dropped 1,175.21 points, having briefly declined more than 1,500 points during the session. Other major indexes closed sharply lower. The selloff kicked into action on Friday, after the latest non-farm payrolls report saw interest rates in the U.S. jump.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note faded, upping yields to 2.78% from Monday’s 2.72%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were unchanged at $63.81 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices erased $2.70 to $1,333.80 U.S. an ounce.