TSX Stumbles after Open

WestJet, Equitable in Focus

Canada's main stock index opened lower on Tuesday, as investors turned skeptical of the chances of a breakthrough in resolving the U.S.-China trade dispute.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index handed back 49.4 points to 15,225.58.

The Canadian dollar sagged 0.06 cents at 75.7 U.S.

On a day light on economic data, Teck Resources has agreed to sell a 30% stake in its Quebrada Blanca copper mine expansion in northern Chile to Japan's Sumitomo for $1.2 billion. Teck shares ballooned 80 cents, or 2.8%, to $28.99.

Bank of Montreal beat market forecasts on Tuesday with a 19% rise in fourth-quarter earnings, helped by a strong performance at its retail and wealth management businesses. BMO shares backpedealed $2.38, or 2.4%, to $96.62.

WestJet Airlines said on Tuesday it expects revenue per average seat mile in 2019 to grow between 2% and 4%, partly driven by strong demand in its core business.

WestJet shares lost 48 cents, or 2.3%, to $20.17.

CIBC raised the price target on Equitable Group to $90.00 from $86.00. Equitable shares inched back two cents to $70.24.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 3.76 points Tuesday to 579.87

The 12 TSX subgroups were evenly divided, as energy led the gaining groups with a vault of 3.8%, materials were 2.1% stronger, and gold was 1.4% better.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed mostly by health-care, down 1.9%, industrials, down 0.8%, and real-estate, off 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell on Tuesday as doubt about a permanent deal between the U.S. and China crept into investors' minds following a stellar rally in the previous session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average settled 167.82 points to open Tuesday at 25,658.61, led by losses in Apple.

The S&P 500 dropped 13.36 points to 2,776.86, as the technology sector lagged.

The NASDAQ lost 30.57 points to 7,410.94

On Wednesday, U.S. equity, option and fixed income markets will be closed due to the declaration of a National Day of Mourning to honour former President George H.W. Bush.

Toll Brothers fell more than 8% after the company issued weaker-than-expecting guidance, pointing to negative reports about the housing market as the cause for the slowdown.

Apple dropped 2% after HSBC downgraded the company's stock to hold from buy as it faces "the reality of market saturation."

The U.S. and China agreed over the weekend to hold off on any additional tariffs on each other's goods on January 1, in order to allow trade talks to continue. Leaders from the two countries met over dinner at the G-20 summit in Argentina.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury rallied, lowering yields to 2.95% from Monday’s 2.97%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices took on 35 cents to $53.30 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices tacked on $6.20 to $1,245.80 U.S. an ounce.