Energy, Industrial Stocks Pull Down TSX

Health-care Continues to Rule

Stocks in Canada’s largest centre came off their lows of the morning on Monday, even as shares of energy companies were pressured by a decline in oil prices after U.S. companies added rigs, a signal that crude output may rise further.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index remained in the red by 20.55 points to greet noon at 15,345.50

The Canadian dollar drooped 0.23 cents to 75.4 cents U.S.

SNC-Lavalin Group plunged $11.75, or 24.2%, the most on the main index, to $36.75. The construction and engineering firm cut its forecast for full-year 2018 profit, citing a problem with a project in its mining and metallurgy unit, as well as ongoing trading challenges in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Iamgold Corp, climbing 43 cents, or 10.6%, to $4.50, and Alamos Gold, gaining 35 cents, or 6.6%, to $5.68.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange popped 7.71 points, or 1.3%, to 612.27

The 12 TSX subgroups were evenly divided between gainers and losers, as health-care rocketed 4%, gold was 1.2% more solid, and communications were better by 0.8%.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed most by industrials, shedding 1.6 %, while energy ditched 1.5%, and information technology reared back 0.6%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell sharply on Monday as investors fretted over weak earnings from Caterpillar and a big cut in revenue guidance from chipmaker Nvidia.

The Dow Jones Industrials plummeted 385.60 points, or 1.4%, to pause for lunch Monday at 24,351.60, as Caterpillar lagged.

The S&P 500 dropped 40.14 points, or 1.5%, to 2,624.62, led lower by the tech and communications services sectors.

The NASDAQ Composite dumped 129.14 points, or 1.8%, to 7,035.72

Caterpillar shares fell 9.7% after the industrial giant posted weaker-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter. The company said its sales in the Asia/Pacific region declined because of lower demand in China. Caterpillar is considered a bellwether for global trade given the company’s exposure to overseas markets. The company also issued disappointing guidance.

Nvidia, meanwhile, dropped 14.4% after slashing its fourth-quarter revenue guidance to $2.2 billion from $2.7 billion. The chipmaker said "deteriorating macroeconomic conditions, particularly in China," impacted demand for its graphics processing units.

Nvidia’s decline pressured other chipmakers. Advanced Micro Devices dropped 6.7% while Micron slipped 2.1%

The two companies cited China as the second-largest economy in the world tries to bat off concerns that is economic growth is slowing. China is also trying to strike a deal with the U.S. to end a trade war that started last year.

These reports come as investors brace for the busiest week of the corporate reporting season. More than 100 S&P 500 companies are scheduled to report, including Apple, Amazon and Facebook. So far, the earnings season is off to a solid start. About 70% of the companies that have already reported have beaten analyst expectations

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury gained a bit of territory, easing yields to 2.73% from Friday’s 2.75%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices slumped $2.16 to $51.53 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices jumped $3.70 to $1,301.80 U.S. an ounce.