Stocks Slide off 6-Mo. Highs

Health Stocks Suffer, Gold Shines Brighter

The dizzy heights stocks round the world have enjoyed proved too much for markets in Toronto, as equities came off their six-month peaks and dropped sharply Friday.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index hurtled earthward 155.26 points to end Friday and the week at 16,089.33

The Canadian dollar slipped 0.32 cents at 74.48 cents U.S.

Health-care issues took a particularly pounding, as Bausch Health Companies skidded 84 cents, or 2.5%, to $33.18, while Canopy Growth fell $1.82, or 3%, to $59.68.

Among energy issues, Suncor Energy swooned $1.02, or 2.2%, to $45.21, while Imperial Oil gave back 66 cents, or 1.8%, to $36.52

In the materials sector, First Quantum Minerals dipped 82 cents, or 5.5%, to $14.04, while Domtar demurred $1.61, or 2.4%, to $65.23.

The gold sector bucked the trend and moved upward, with Barrick Gold leaping 58 cents, or 3.3%, to $18.34, while Kinross Gold acquired six cents, or 1.3%, to $4.67.

Utilities moved ahead, most notably, Fortis, up 59 cents, or 1.2%, to $49.89, while Hydro One climbed 21 cents, or 1%, to $20.60.

Among consumer staples, Metro gained 38 cents to $48.89, while Maple Leaf Foods added on 26 cents to $29.80.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported retail sales faded for the third consecutive month, declining 0.3% to $50.1 billion in January. Lower sales – lower by 1.5% -- at motor vehicle and parts dealers contributed to the majority of the decline. Excluding sales in this sub-sector, retail sales increased 0.1%.

The Consumer Price Index rose 1.5% on a year-over-year basis in February, up from a 1.4% increase in January. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI increased 0.3% in February.


The TSX Venture Exchange slumbered 3.39 points to 637.82

Seven of the 12 Toronto subgroups were negative, as health-care ailed 3.5%, energy was 2.5% less energetic, and materials were off 2%.

The five gaining groups were led by gold, ahead 1.2%. utilities, stronger by 0.6%, and consumer staples, better by 0.3%.


Stocks dropped on Friday as investors worried global economic growth could slow down following the Federal Reserve's cautious outlook from earlier in the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 397.02 points, or 1.5%, to steer into noon at 25,565.49, as bank stocks fell on an inverted yield curve, which some investors see as a signal of a recession coming.

The S&P 500 dumped 54.17 points, or 1.9%, to 2,800.71, and headed for its worst day since Jan. 22.

The NASDAQ Composite dropped 196.29 points, or 2.5%, to 7,642.67

Despite the decline on Friday, stocks are still up sharply for the year. The S&P 500 have climbed 12% and NASDAQ has improved 15%. The Dow, meanwhile, has rallied nearly 10%.

Bank shares led the decline. Citigroup fell more than 4%. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America all declined at least 2.4%.

Nike shares also pressured stocks. The athletic apparel company's stock fell 5.6% on the back of weak quarterly sales growth in North America.

Boeing shares also dropped 1.6% after Indonesian airline Garuda canceled a $6-billion order for 49 Boeing 737 Max jets.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury spiked, weighing yields to 2.44% from Thursday’s 2.54%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell $1.05 to $58.93 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices added $5.80 to $1,313.10 U.S. an ounce.