TSX Gives Up Wednesday Gains

Macy’s in Focus

Canada's main stock index dropped at open on Thursday, retreating from a four-week high, with energy shares leading declines amid lower oil prices.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index stepped back from its dizzy heights of Wednesday, and dropped 70.61 points to open Thursday at 14,734.12

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.14 cents at 75.67 U.S.

CIBC raised rating on Dundee Precious Metals to outperform from neutral. Dundee shares acquired three cents to $3.74.

RBC raised the price target on Kirkland Lake Gold to $40 from $38. Kirkland Lake shares collapsed 32 cents to $35.16.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported that housing starts were unchanged for a fourth consecutive month in November, while Canadian municipalities issued $8.3 billion worth of building permits in November, up 2.6% from October. Higher construction intentions for commercial buildings drove most of the gain.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange slid 2.48 points to 595.63

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower in the first hour of trade, as information technology and materials sank 1% each, while gold lost 0.9%.

The two gainers were health-care, up 0.8%, and utilities, inching up 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell on Thursday as disappointing holiday sales from Macy’s and a revenue guidance cut from American Airlines pressured retail and airline shares.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average faltered 110.61 points to 23,768.51
The S&P 500 subsided 16.36 points to 2,568.60,

The NASDAQ Composite lost 61.95 points to 6,895.13

Macy’s shares tanked more than 18%— on pace for their worst day every — after reporting its same-store sales grew by just 1.1% in November and December. The company also cut its earnings and revenue forecast for fiscal 2018.

Shares of Kohl’s fell 8.9% while Nordstrom declined 7.8%

Meanwhile, American Airlines fell more than 9% after slashing its revenue growth forecast for the fourth quarter. Shares of Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines all fell at least 3%

The announcements from Macy’s and American Airlines came as the earnings season for calendar fourth-quarter 2018 is set to ramp up. J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, BlackRock and Morgan Stanley are among the companies set to report next week.

Fourth-quarter earnings are expected to have risen nearly 15% on a year-over-year basis, but growth is expected to be much lower moving forward. According to Thomson Reuters, first-quarter earnings are forecast to rise by 3.9%

Thursday’s moves down took place after delegations from Washington and Beijing ended three days of trade negotiations in China on Wednesday. China’s commerce ministry said Thursday the negotiations were extensive and had helped set up a foundation for further talks.

This week’s face-to-face meetings were the first to take place since U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce last month.

If both sides are unable to secure a comprehensive trade agreement by March 2, Trump has said he plans to raise tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury were slightly higher, lowering yields to 2.71% from Wednesday’s 2.72%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices were down 79 cents to $51.57 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices were up 90 cents to $1,292.90 U.S. an ounce.