TSX Ends Deep in the Red

Energy, Discretionary Stocks in Focus

The selloff plaguing markets the world over resumed in Canada Thursday, with broad-based losses, led by a decline in energy stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index took a steep drop of 264.97 points, or 1.7%, to close Thursday at 15,065.61

The Canadian dollar dwindled 0.21 cents at 79.35 cents U.S.

Shares of Suncor Energy weighed on the energy sector, sliding $1.05, or 2.5% to $41.40 after it reported higher fourth-quarter profit on stronger oil prices and lower costs.

Elsewhere in the sector, TransCanada Corporation tumbled $1.60, or 2.9%, to $53.06.

In consumer discretionary issues, Canada Goose Holdings slumped $7.69, or 16.1%, to $40.14 after releasing its quarterly results. Canadian Tire backpedaled $3.78, or 2.3%, to $161.60.

Aurora Cannabis was among the most actively traded stocks, down a penny to $11.14, after the cannabis company reported results. Rival Canopy Growth dipped 50 cents, or 1.8%, to $27.12

Thomson Reuters declined $1.07, or 2.1%, to $49.99, after the company beat Wall Street profit expectations in the fourth quarter but missed on revenue.

BCE had been among the biggest lifts on the index, before falling into the red 56 cents, or 1%, to $56.15, after the telecom company's quarterly profit narrowly beat analysts' estimates.

On the economic docket, Statistics Canada reported that prices for new houses were unchanged in December, while showing limited growth in some markets.

The trend in housing starts was 224,865 units in January 2018, compared to 226,346 units in December 2017, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange slumbered 11.5 points, or 1.4%, to conclude trading Thursday at 819.19

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups ended Thursday negative, as energy blundered 2.6%, with consumer discretionaries falling 2.3%, and health-care wilting 1.8%.

Gold stocks were unchanged in price by the closing bell.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell sharply on Thursday as strong earnings and economic data were enough to quell jitters on Wall Street about higher interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial trailed Wednesday’s close by a whopping 1,032.89 points, or 4.2%, to finish Thursday at 23,860.46, entering correction territory. This is the third drop for the Dow greater than 500 points in the last five days.

Despite the decline Thursday, the average is still a ways from its low for the week hit on Tuesday of 23,778.74. American Express and Intel were the worst-performing stocks in the index, sliding more than 5.4%. J.P. Morgan Chase, meanwhile, was down by more than 4%.

The S&P 500 slipped 36.59 points, or 1.4%, to 2,645.07, reaching a new low for the week. The index also broke below its 100-day moving average and closed under 2,600, two important thresholds. For the S&P 500, it is its third drop of greater than 2% in the last five days.

The NASDAQ stumbled 103.98 points, or 1.5%, to 6,948. as Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft all fell at least 4.5%.

The major U.S. indexes tried for gains earlier in Thursday's session after the release of strong earnings data.

Twitter and Grubhub reported better-than-expected quarterly results. Twitter shares soared 12.2%, while Grubhub spiked 27.4% higher.

This corporate earnings season has been strong. Of the S&P 500 companies that had reported as of Wednesday morning, 78% had announced better-than-expected earnings, according to Thomson Reuters

The move to higher bond prices (see below) follows the release of strong jobless claims data. Weekly jobless claims hit a 45-year low, totaling 221,000. They fell from 230,000 in the previous week.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note gained a bit of ground, lowering yields to 2.83% from Wednesday’s 2.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices demurred $1.40 a barrel to $60.39 U.S.

Gold prices improved $5.80 to $1,320.40 U.S. an ounce.