Stocks Bruised Through North America

Tech, Energy Take Beating

Equities in Canada’s largest market tumbled Monday, led by the tech and energy sectors as oil prices slipped, and investors were cautious ahead of a near-certain U.S. interest rate hike this week.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index backpedaled 121.94 points to end Monday at 15,589.39

The Canadian dollar eked up 0.18 cents at 76.55 cents U.S.

Energy stocks were weighed most heavily by Ensign Energy Services, which plummeted 20 cents, or 3.3%, to $5.91, while Perpetual Energy doffed four cents, or 6.1%, to 62 cents.

Technology stocks were also squashed as BlackBerry lost 34 cents, or 2%, to $16.64, while Constellation Software slumped $5.11 to $884.25.

In the materials group, First Quantum Minerals was down 62 cents, or 2.9%, to $20.57, while Crystal Peak Minerals lost 1.5 cents, or 4%, to 36 cents.

Consumer staples provided one of the few bright spots, as Brick Brewing added 10 cents, or 2.2%, to $4.70, while Loblaw Companies gained 42 cents to $66.23.

In the gold sector, Klondex Mines climbed $1.08, or 60%, to $2.88, after U.S. miner Hecla Mining Co said it would buy the company in a $462-million cash-and-stock deal.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange remained buoyant 1.77 points to 835.44

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups lost ground, with energy falling 1.9%, information technology tottering 1.1%, and materials shedding 1.2%.

The three gainers were consumer staples, improving 0.7%, while real-estate and gold were each better 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks pulled back on Monday as a decline in Facebook pressured the technology sector. Wall Street also paid attention to Washington after a Twitter meltdown from President Donald Trump.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average got hammered 335.6 points, or 1.4%, to 24,610.91, with Caterpillar as the worst-performing stock in the index.

The S&P 500 tumbled 39.09 points, or 1.4%, to 2,712.92, with tech dropping 2.1%. Facebook was the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 and posted its biggest one-day decline since March 2014.

The NASDAQ composite Index fell 137.74 points, or 1.8%, to 7,344.24, in its worst day since Feb. 8 as Facebook dropped 6.8%.

Shares of Facebook closed more than 10% below their all-time high set on Feb. 1 and dropped below their 50-day and 100-day moving averages, two key technical levels. Google-parent Alphabet and Apple also fell, closing 3% and 1.5% lower, respectively.

In corporate news, Rubbermaid-parent company Newell Brands agreed to appoint four independent directors designated by activist investor Carl Icahn. Icahn owns 6.9% of Newell's shares.

On Sunday morning, Trump accused Special Counsel Robert Mueller of hiring "hardened Democrats" to probe alleged ties between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia. Mueller is a Republican who has held appointments under Democratic and GOP presidents.

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates on Wednesday with new Fed chief Jerome Powell giving his first press conference. Market expectations for a March rate hike were at 94.4% as of Monday morning

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sagged, raising yields to 2.86% from Friday’s 2.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices backtracked 20 cents a barrel to $62.14 U.S.

Gold prices brightened $4.60 to $1,317.70 U.S. an ounce.