TSX Prolongs Win Streak

Cannabis Issues Take Lumps

Equities in Toronto determinedly made their way into the green by the closing bell on Monday, after spending much of the day in the red, with energy gains trying to compensate – and then some – for health-care losses.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index squeezed higher 4.66 points to conclude Monday at 16,400.81, to run its streak of gains to six straight sessions, however narrowly.

The Canadian dollar regained 0.3 cents at 75.13 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks were not particularly hale Monday, what with Canopy Growth handing $1.27, or 2.2%, to $56.73, while Aurora Cannabis faded 27 cents, or 2.2%, to $12.01

Among financials, Manulife dipped eight cents to $23.54, while Scotiabank lost 19 cents to $71.18.

Industrials also felt the pinch, as Bombardier stalled four cents, or 1.4%, to 2.75, while Air Canada faded 13 cents to $32.85.

Energy stocks did their bit to pick up the slack, however, with Suncor forging ahead 18 cents to $44.68, and Canadian Natural Resources climbed 38 cents, or 1%, to $38.79.

Gold moved doggedly forward, as Agnico Eagle Mines acquired 21 cents to $58.23, while Kinross Gold gained eight cents, or 1.7%. to $4.75.

Consumer staples also found a way up, as Saputo shares were dearer by 14 cents to $45.98.

On the economic beat, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported that the trend in housing starts was 202,279 units in March, compared to 202,039 units in February.

Statistics Canada revealed that Canadian municipalities issued $7.8 billion worth of building permits in February, down 5.7% from the previous month. The decline was largely due to lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange added 1.5 points to 631.31

All but two of the 12 Toronto subgroups were negative with health-care down 1.2%, while information technology and industrials slipped 0.7%.

The two gainers were energy, sprinting 1.1%, and consumer staples, better by 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell on Monday as Wall Street digested strong gains from the previous week and looked ahead to the start of the corporate earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average came off its lows of the day to point downward 83.97 points and finish the session at 26,341.03

The S&P 500 squeezed higher 3.03 points at 2,895.77, to run its win streak to eight straight sessions.

The NASDAQ Composite dropped 16.2 points to 7,922.5

Shares of Boeing and General Electric led the decline. Boeing dropped more than 4% after Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut its rating on the aerospace giant to neutral from buy. The bank said it expects production of the 737 Max jet to be delayed by six to nine months. This follows a deadly plane crash from last month that involved a 737 Max plane.

GE, meanwhile, fell more than 5% after J.P. Morgan downgraded the stock, noting: "We believe many investors are underestimating the severity of the challenges and underlying risks at GE, while overestimating the value of small positives."

Snap shares rose more than 3% after RBC Capital Markets upgraded the social media company to outperform from sector perform, noting the "potential for a positive inflection point catalyzing" the stock.

On the data front, factory orders for February fell 0.5% amid weakness in the machinery, transportation equipment and electronic products segments. Shipments, however, rose 0.4%. Treasury yields climbed on the data.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, raising yields to 2.52% from Friday’s 2.5%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $1.36 to $64.44 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $6.40 to $1,302.00 U.S. an ounce.