Massive Losses on Stock Markets

Laurentian, First Quantum in Spotlight

Canada's main stock index was roughed up severely by noon on Friday, shrugging off news as domestic jobs rose for the fourth straight month in August and the unemployment rate fell, adding to hopes of recovery as coronavirus-led curbs continue to ease.

The TSX tumbled 322.12 points, or 2%, to greet noon at 16,126.77.

The Canadian dollar recovered 0.12 cents to 76.23 cents U.S.

Laurentian Bank of Canada managed to gain $1.01, or 3.7%, to $28.27, after the lender beat both revenue and profit estimates for the third quarter.

First Quantum Minerals, one of the main gainers throughout the morning, found itself down eight cents to $12.68.

Equinox Gold fell $1.61, or 9.7%, the most on the TSX, to $15.07, after the gold miner said it was suspending activity at the Los Filos Mine in Mexico, while Centerra Gold was down $1.02, or 6%, to $16.04.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported the economy grew by 246,000 (or 1.4%) in August, compared with 419,000 (or 2.4%) in July. The unemployment rate fell 0.7 percentage points to 10.2% in August.

Combined with gains of 1.2 million in May and June, this brought employment to within 1.1 million (or 5.7%) of its pre-COVID February level.

Also, Western University’s IVEY School of Business’ Purchasing Managers Index for August dropped to 67.8 from July's 68.5, but surpassing the 60.6 reading in August 2019.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange crumbled 15.72 points, or 2.2%, to 714.63.

All 12 TSX subgroups were negative midday, with information technologies fading 4.4%, while gold lost 3.7%, and materials forfeited 3.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell once again on Friday as a selloff in tech, the best-performing market sector in 2020, continued for a second day.

The Dow Jones Industrials collapsed 598.15 points, or 2.1%, to break for lunch Friday at 27,694.58.

The S&P 500 fell 76.1 points, or 2.2%, to 3,378.90.

The NASDAQ Composite tumbled 344.13 points, or 3%, to 11,133.97. Over the past two days, the NASDAQ has fallen by about 10%.

Apple shares dropped 8% and Facebook slid 6.6%. Amazon skidded 7.4%, and Netflix slid 7%. Alphabet and Microsoft were both down 5%.
Both Tesla and Apple rallied recently after announcing stock splits.

To be sure, more beaten-down parts of the market rebounded Thursday and added to those gains Friday. Cruise operator Carnival advanced 2.6% on Friday. United Airlines rose about 1%.

On the economic beat, the U.S. Labor Department said the unemployment rate fell to 8.4% last month from 10.2% in July.

Economists polled by Dow Jones expected the rate to decline to 9.8%. As for overall jobs creation, employment in the U.S. grew by 1.37 million in August, topping an estimate of 1.32 million.

Bank stocks rose following the data release as Treasury yields climbed. Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase were all up at least 1.4%. Wells Fargo climbed 1%

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury slid, raising yields to 0.68% from Thursday’s 0.64%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell $1.31 to $40.06 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices skidded $7.40 to $1,930.40 U.S. an ounce.