Stocks in Danger of Ending Streak

Trillium, TCP in Spotlight

Equities in Canada’s largest centre fell for the first time in four sessions on Thursday, as weakness in energy and material stocks outweighed hopes of a large fiscal stimulus package under new U.S. President Joe Biden.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index let go of 70.06 points to open Thursday at 17,944.85

The Canadian dollar moved higher 0.09 cents to 79.28 cents U.S.

Canadian pension funds are seeking to boost their real estate investments, betting the slumping property market will recover as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes and office workers and city dwellers return to downtown properties.

Cormark Securities cut the target price on Airboss of America to $24.00. Airboss shares lost 12 cents to $18.09.

National Bank of Canada cut the target price on Metro Inc. to $64.00 from $65.00. Shares in the grocery chain docked 25 cents to $57.80.

Scotiabank cut the target price on TCP Energy to $69.00 from $72.00. TCP shares defied the tide and gained $1.07, or 1.9%, to $56.99.

Elsewhere, Trillium Therapeutics fell 6.5%, the most on the TSX, extending losses from the prior session. Trillium shares collapsed $1.72, or 10%, to $15.47.

The second biggest decliner was security software maker Blackberry Limited, down 58 cents, or 3.6%, to $15.57, a day after hitting a near-three-year high.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Lundin Mining, which jumped 53 cents, or 4.4%, to $12.57, after multiple brokerages raised their price targets on the miner's stock

Its gains were followed by Cascades Inc, which rose 29 cents, or 2%, to $14.94, after brokerage BMO started the coverage of the paper packaging firm with an outperform rating.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported growth in new home prices slowed for the third consecutive month, rising 0.3% in December compared with November.

The agency also reports that despite the recent slowdown, new home prices were up 4.6% year over year in December.


The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 9.55 points, or 1%, to open Thursday at 936.60.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative in the early going, with health-care dwindling 2%, gold dulling 1.4%, and energy 1.2% less energetic.

The four gainers were led by communications, improving 0.4%, utilities, surging 0.3%, and consumer discretionary stocks, better by 0.2%.


The stock market rose slightly to post records once again Thursday as investors bet on strong earnings from big tech companies next week.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 46.46 points to 31,234.84.

The S&P 500 added 7.87 points to 3,859.72, yet another all-time high,

The NASDAQ picked up 65.71 points to 13,522.96, also a record, as Apple and Alphabet both advanced more than 2%.

Major U.S. airline United fell 5.7% after missing on the top and bottom lines of its quarterly earnings. The carrier warned sales would continue to suffer in the early part of 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic drags on.

Thursday’s action came after a better-than-expected reading on jobless claims. First-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 900,000 for the week ended Jan. 16, lower than an estimate of 925,000 according to economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

Still, some on Wall Street are optimistic that Biden’s plans to combat the pandemic will give the stock market a further boost through 2021.

Biden released details of his COVID plan on his first full day in office, including 10 executive orders and his intent to use the Defense
Production Act to ramp up protective equipment production. Biden will seek to accelerate the rollout of vaccines by providing more local and state funding, creating more vaccination sites and launching a national education campaign.

Along with the COVID response plan released Thursday, investors are also watching eagerly if Biden can get his proposed $1.9-trillion coronavirus relief bill through Congress.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury stumbled, raising yields to 1.011% from Wednesday’s 1.08%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices slipped 20 cents to $53.11 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dropped two dollar to $1,864.50 U.S. an ounce.