Downward Finish to Markets

Trade Talks Again a Worry

Equities in Toronto called a halt to their brief win streak, weakness in tech and industrial sectors surpassing gains in health-care stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index was negative 63.27 points to finish trading Tuesday at 16,188.10

The Canadian dollar gained 0.15 cents at 75.11 cents U.S.

Among techs, BlackBerry soured 11 cents to $12.46, while Shopify tumbled $6.46, or 2.2%, to $268.76.

Stella-Jones was among those industrial companies that suffered Tuesday, losing five cents to $42.25, while Canadian National stumbled $2.21, or 1.9%, to $116.19.

Among energy stocks, Imperial Oil faded 44 cents, or 1.2%, to $36.67, while Canadian Natural Resources doffed 46 cents, or 1.2%, to $36.93.

Health-care stocks carried their standard proudly, overcoming some of the negatives, as Bausch Health Companies vaulted $2.19, or 6.9%, to $34.97, while Canopy Growth gained 41 cents to $61.41.

Among consumer discretionary stocks, Magna International advanced 23 cents to $66.07, while Gildan Activewear took on 28 cents to $46.63.

In real-estate, Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust gained eight cents to $40.86.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau began delivering his federal budget in the House of Commons late Tuesday afternoon (4 p.m. EDT), unveiling what experts are calling a stimulus-filled documents, the last budget ahead of the federal election in October.

The Alberta government says the province will increase crude production limits by 25,000 barrels per day in May and a further 25,000 bpd in June

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 3.48 points to 636.07

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower, information technology and industrials each faded 1%, while energy was 0.9% to the bad.

The five gainers were led by health-care, zooming 1.6%, consumer discretionary stocks, up 0.5%, and real-estate, ahead 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower for the first time in five days on Tuesday, led by declines in Apple, while investors puzzled over conflicting reports over the progress of U.S.-China trade negotiations.

The 30-stock index dropped 26.72 points to close Tuesday at 25,887.38. Apple was among the worst performers in the index, sliding 0.8%

The S&P 500 eased 0.37 points to 2,832.57

The NASDAQ Composite held onto gains of 9.47 points to 7,723.95

Caterpillar shares closed flat after rising as much as 1.3% earlier in the day. Boeing also pared gains, closing 0.3% higher. Both stocks are seen as trade bellwethers given their exposure to overseas markets.

Stocks started to roll over amid reports that U.S. officials are worried China may be pushing back against U.S. demands in the countries' ongoing trade talks. The report also said Chinese negotiators are worried they have not received assurances that tariffs imposed on Chinese goods would be lifted once a deal is struck.

The Fed kicked off its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday. Market expectations for a rate hike are at zero, with most investors pricing in no change in policy. However, investors will look for clues on the Fed's economic outlook.

Stocks have been on a tear since the Fed's last meeting in late January. In that time, the S&P 500 has risen more than 5%. The broad index is also up more than 12% for 2019 in part because investors expect less policy tightening for the year.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury slumped, raising yields to 2.61% from Monday’s 2.59%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices were down 24 cents to $58.85 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $4.70 to $1,306.20 U.S. an ounce.