Employment Numbers Weigh Down Stocks Thursday

Gold Stocks Punished

Stocks in Toronto dug themselves a hole Thursday which they spent most of the day trying (unsuccessfully) to extricate themselves from.

The TSX showed promise throughout the late morning and early afternoon, but still missed Wednesday’s close by 48.94 points, finishing Thursday at 16,246.72.

The Canadian dollar changed gears and gained 0.16 cents to 76.02 cents U.S.

Gold took a pasting, as Centerra Gold got smacked 57 cents, or 3.4%, to $16.11, while Teranga Gold sifted off 63 cents, or 4.1%, to $!4.77.

Vermilion Energy fell 27 cents, or 6.3%, to $4.02, while Husky Energy slid 12 cents, or 3.3%, to $3.50.

Among other resources, Endeavour Mining slumped $1.90, or 4.9%, to $36.94, while Pan American Silver gave back $1.17, or 2.4%, to $46.30.

On the plus side, Alimentation Couche-Tard led consumer staples upward, gaining 99 cents, or 2.3%, to $44.02, while North West Company took on 79 cents, or 2%, to $35.39.

Badger Daylighting jumped 79 cents, or 2%, to $40.49, as SNC Lavalin climbed 76 cents, or 3.3%, to $23.75.

Utilities had a good day as well, with Innergex Renewable Energy gathering 26 cents, or 1.2%, to $22.64, while Northland Power prospered 22 cents, or

On the economic docket, figures released by payroll service provider ADP showed this country lost 205,400 jobs in August, as hiring tumbled in the construction, and trade, transportation and utilities sectors.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 4.13 points to 743.22.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative, with gold scaling back 2.2%, energy down 1.8%, and materials off 1.2%

The four gainers were led by consumer staples, up 0.8%, industrials, improving 0.6%, and utilities inching up 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell in volatile trading on Thursday amid renewed pressure in shares of major tech companies. Conflicting messaging on the coronavirus vaccine front and uncertainty around further stimulus also weighed on sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 127.94 points to 27,904.44, snapping a four-day winning streak.

The S&P 500 slid 28.48 points to 3,357.01.

The NASDAQ slumped 140.19 points, or 1.3%, to 10,910.28. The tech-heavy benchmark briefly dipped back into correction territory, down 10% from its all-time high.

Facebook stumbled 3.3% and Amazon was down 2.3%. Netflix closed 2.8% lower. Alphabet dropped 1.7% while Apple and Microsoft were both down at least 1%. Snowflake, an IPO which captivated Wall Street on Wednesday as it doubled in its debut, was off by 10.4%.

Thursday’s decline came amid conflicting messages about the timeline for a coronavirus vaccine. President Donald Trump said late Wednesday that the U.S. could distribute a vaccine as early as October, contradicting the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who told lawmakers earlier in the day that vaccinations would be in limited quantities this year and not widely distributed for six to nine months.

Traders were also monitoring the status of stimulus talks after Trump suggested Wednesday he could support a larger package. However, multiple reports indicated that Senate Republicans appeared reluctant to do so without more details on a bill.

The latest U.S. weekly jobless claims came in slightly better than expected. First-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 860,000 in the week ending Sept.12, versus an estimate of 875,000, according to economists polled by Dow Jones.

Investors evaluated for a second day the Federal Reserve’s interest rate outlook where it indicated rates could stay anchored to the zero-bound through 2023 as the central bank tries to spur inflation. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also pressed lawmakers to move forward with stimulus.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained slightly lowering yields to 0.69% from Wednesday’s 0.7%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices recovered 91 cents to $41.07 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices were down $14.80 to $1,955.70 U.S. an ounce.