Markets Trudge Lower

Canopy, Barrick in Focus

Canada's main stock index declined on Monday, after closing at a record high in the previous session, as gains in energy shares were offset by declines across other sectors.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 35.53 points to close Monday at 16,577.28

The Canadian dollar gained 0.18 cents at 74.91 cents U.S.

Gold took the worst beatings, as Barrick Gold gave back 39 cents, or 2.2%, to $17.31, while Goldcorp dipped 23 cents, or 1.6%, to $14.20

Communications also showed some bruises, as BCE retreated 76 cents, or 1.3%, to $60.05, while Corus Entertainment docked 14 cents, or 1.8%, to $7.56.

Among materials stocks, Agnico Eagle Mines lost 42 cents to $53.64, while First Quantum Minerals backtracked 30 cents, or 1.9%, to $15.63.

Health-care was the far and away winner among the few gainers, as Canopy Growth rocketed $4.69, or 7.9%, to $64.33, while Aurora Cannabis hiked 27 cents, or 2.2%, to $12.30.

In energy stocks, Suncor climbed 86 cents, or 1.9%, to $45.34, while Imperial Oil gained 23 cents to $39.61.

In the tech field, BlackBerry picked up two cents to $12.36.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange eked up 1.34 points to close Monday at 610.55

All but three of the 12 Toronto subgroups remained negative on the day, with gold sliding 2%, communications stocks down 1.7%, and materials off 1.5%

The three gainers were health-care, better by 2.9%, energy up 1.5%, and information technology, nosing up 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks posted a muted performance on Monday as the busiest week of the corporate earnings season kicked off.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average faded 54.05 points to 26,505.49

The S&P 500 eked up 2.94 points to 2,907.97, due to gains in energy.

The NASDAQ Composite recovered 17.2 points to 8,015.27

Still, the major indexes remain within striking distance of record highs set last year. The Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ are all within 2% of reaching their records.

Boeing contributed the most to the Dow’s losses, falling 1.3% after The New York Times reported that workers at the company’s 787 jet plant have complained about shoddy production and bad safety practices.

More than 140 S&P 500 companies are scheduled to release their quarterly results this week, including Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble, United Technologies, Verizon, Twitter, Lockheed Martin and eBay. Facebook, Microsoft and Tesla Motors are also set to report later this week.

Halliburton and Kimberly-Clark are among the companies that reported better-than-expected quarterly results on Monday morning. Halliburton was up 0.3%, and Kimberly-Clark took on 6.1%.

So far, the majority of corporate earnings reports have topped expectations. Data shows 76.5% of the S&P 500 companies that have posted earnings have surpassed analyst estimates. Analysts came into the season with low expectations for the season, forecasting a 4.2% drop in profits.

Wall Street also focused on the oil market as U.S. crude rose 2.2% after the Trump administration said it will not allow the purchase of Iranian oil by some countries. The move could take about one million barrels per day out of the oil market. Energy shares rose along with oil prices.

On the data front, existing home sales for March fell 4.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.21 million. The drop last month came after an 11.2% surge in February.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury were lower, boosting yields to 2.59% from Thursday’s 2.56%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $1.66 to $65.66 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices acquired a dollar to $1,277.00 U.S. an ounce.