Stocks Finish Downward Wednesday

Energy Weighs Down TSX

Canadian stocks ended lower than where they left off Tuesday, as consumer stock gains were cancelled out by weakness in the oil patch.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 33.35 points to finish Wednesday at 15,330.58

The Canadian dollar was down 0.41 cents at 79.56 cents U.S.

Consumer discretionary stocks proved strongest, with Canada Goose Holdings hoisting $1.50, or 3.2%, to $47.88, and Canadian Tire climbing $4.51, or 2.8%, to $165.64.

Among industrials, Canfor Corporation gained 41 cents, or 1.4%, to $29.51, while Bombardier gathered 10 cents, or 3.1%, to $3.28.

In real-estate stocks, Colliers International Group advanced $2.48, or 3.5%, to $72.48.

Energy stocks took the brunt of selling, with Birchcliff Energy shedding six cents, or 1.8%, to $3.24, while Advantage Oil & Gas fell 12 cents, or 2.9% to $3.98.

Cannabis producers were among the most actively traded, including Canopy Growth, which gave up gains and fell 90 cents, or 3.1%, at $27.90.

Marijuana shares had come under pressure in recent weeks but have begun to perk back up. Aphria also dipped into the red 60 cents, or 3.6%, to $16.04, while Aurora Cannabis settled 36 cents, or 3.1% to $11.17.

Among materials stocks, Tahoe Resources, letting go of 10 cents, or 2%, to $5.00, while First Majestic Silver dropped 19 cents, or 2.7%, to $6.90.

On the economic docket, Statistics Canada reported that Canadian municipalities issued $8.1 billion in building permits in December, up 4.8% following a 7.3% decline in November. The agency attributes the December increase to higher construction intentions in the residential sector.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 1.04 points, to finish Wednesday at 830.69

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher midday, with health-care and consumer discretionary stocks better by 1% each, while utilities grew 0.9%.

The three laggards were energy, down 1.3%, gold, down 0.4%, and materials off 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks closed lower on Wednesday after trading in a wide range again as interest rates climbed back toward multi-year highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial finished another yo-yo day in the red 19.42 points to 24,893.35, notching its biggest reversal since August 2015.

The index rose as much as 381 points and fell as much as 127 points.

The S&P 500 slipped 13.48 points to 2,681.66, after rising as much as 1.2%, logging its biggest one-day reversal since February 2016.

The NASDAQ tailed off 63.9 points to 7,051.98, as some of the major tech stocks pulled back. Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet all closed down at least 1.8%. Apple also fell 2.1%.

The latest moves come after three volatile sessions in which fear of rising inflation sent interest rates higher, pressuring equities. Traders also blamed computerized trading and sharp moves in obscure volatility funds that use leverage for the market's recent swings.

On Tuesday, the 30-stock index swung 1,167.5 points before closing 567 points higher.

But despite Tuesday's sharp close higher, the Dow is down 4.3% since Friday. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ, meanwhile, are down 4.5% and 4.1%, respectively, since then.

In corporate news, earnings season remained in full swing Wednesday with Hasbro and Michael Kors reporting before the bell. Hasbro posted better-than-expected earnings. The stock rose nearly 9% after falling more than 4% in the pre-market.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were lower, pushing yields up to 2.84% from Tuesday’s 2.8%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices sank $1.69 a barrel to $61.70 U.S.

Gold prices dropped $11.40 to $1,318.10 U.S. an ounce.