Stocks punished Wednesday

Gold, materials bruised, as health-care recovers

Stocks in Canada’s largest market got right belted Wednesday, as international trade tensions continued to raise their heads, particularly those involving Turkey and the U.S.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index plummeted 182.17 points, or 1.1%, to end Wednesday at 16,148.50

The Canadian dollar faded 0.47 cents to 76.14 cents U.S.

Gold stocks did most of the tumbling, with Goldcorp jettisoning 72 cents, or 4.9%, to $14.12, while Kinross Gold shaving off 26 cents, or 6.5%, to $3.77.

Shares of First Majestic Silver fell 64 cents, or 8.7%, to $6.70, top laggard on the TSX, followed by shares of First Quantum Minerals, which were down $1.27, or 7.3%, to $16.23.

In the energy field, Suncor Energy doffed $2.26, or 4.2%, to $51.58, while Imperial Oil gave back $1.47, or 3.5%, to $40.81.

The health-care sector hiked, boosted by shares of Canopy Growth Co, which jumped $10.32, or 32.1%, to $42.47, after Corona beer maker Constellation Brands said it would invest a further $4 billion in the cannabis producer.

Top percentage gainers on the TSX also included shares of Aurora Cannabis, which rose $1.04, or 19.5%, to $6.38.

In the real estate sector, Boardwalk REIT gained 25 cents to $50.31, while Brookfield Asset Management nosed up half a cent to $56.85

In telecoms, Rogers Communications was in the green 47 cents to $68.49.

On the economic calendar, re-sales of Canadian homes rose 1.9% in July from June, notching the third straight monthly rise but remaining below the highs seen in recent years, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Wednesday.

The industry group said actual sales, not seasonally adjusted, fell 1.3%, while the group’s Home Price Index was up 2.1% from July 2017.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange parted with 5.91 points to 667.88

All but three of the 12 subgroups were still negative, with gold subtracting 5.7% of its value, materials weakening 4.3%, and energy falling 3.6%

The three gainers were health-care, leaping 12.1%, while real-estate gained 0.4%, and telecoms, up 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday as declines in tech shares and Macy's dampened investor sentiment. Equities also followed overseas stocks lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average got hit 137.51 points to 25,162.41

The S&P 500 slouched 21.59 points to 2,818.27

The NASDAQ went south 96.78 points, or 1.2%, to 7,774.12

The Dow and NASDAQ both broke below their 50-day moving averages, while the S&P 500 was approaching it.

The major indexes trimmed losses late in the day after media reports that the White House is preparing to expand rules favoring American products in government projects.

Tech, the largest sector by weight in the S&P 500, fell more than 1% as a disappointing quarterly report from Chinese tech giant Tencent weighed. Tencent's U.S.-listed shares dropped 6.7% after reporting its slowest revenue growth rate since 2015. Shares of U.S. tech giants Facebook, Apple and Alphabet all dropped. Other Chinese tech stocks like Alibaba and JD.com also fell.

Meanwhile, Macy's shares dropped nearly 16% as the company's quarterly report showed it is struggling to grow sales. The company posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue, but its sales still fell on a year-over year basis.

Bank shares fell broadly as Bank of America and Citigroup both dropped more than 1%. J.P. Morgan Chase also fell 0.8%.

Energy shares fell 3% and were the worst performers in the S&P 500 as U.S. crude dropped 3.2% after the Energy Information Administration said U.S. stockpiles rose by 6.8 million barrels.

Retail sales in the U.S. rose more than expected last month, gaining 0.5% in July versus economists’ estimates of 0.1%. The U.S. Commerce Department's report also showed a year-over-year increase of 6.4%.

A Turkish regulator said Wednesday it was limiting banks' currency swap transactions. The move is likely aimed at curbing short selling against the lira, which has recently taken a beating.

The Turkish lira fell to a record low earlier this week as global investors fear Turkey's economic troubles could spell trouble for other economies around the world. Last month, Turkey's inflation rate hit 16%, well above the central bank's 5% target.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury spiked, dropping yields to 2.86% from Tuesday’s 2.9%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices stumbled $2.15 at $64.89 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slid $18.30 to $1,182.40 U.S. an ounce.