Stocks Tail off to Begin December

Health-care Losses Surmount Gold Gains

Investors took profits Monday from last week’s sizzling hot gains, as health-care and communications faded from the dizzy heights at the end of the November

The TSX Composite Index moved off its lows of the day, but dropped 58.73 points from Friday’s all-time high, to 16,981.47

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.08 to 75.20 cents U.S.

Health-care issues took a particularly hard pounding, as Aurora Cannabis sagged 11 cents, or 3.3%, to $3.21, while Canopy Growth shed 52 cents, or 2.1%, to $23.99.

In the communications area, Rogers dropped $1.12, or 1.7%, to $61.31, while Cineplex fell 46 cents, or 1.8%, to $24.93.

Among techs, Celestica sifted off 31 cents, or 3%, to $10.07, while Photon Control gave back two cents, or 1.8%, to $1.07.

Gold led the few gaining groups, as Alacer Gold picked up 16 cents, or 2.2%, to $7.30, while Wesdome Gold acquired 24 cents, or 2.8%, to $8.97.

In materials, Pan American Silver gained 84 cents, or 3.3%, to $26.38, while SSR Mining popped 44 cents, or 2.1%, to $21.10.

George Weston led the parade of gainers among consumer staples, strengthening 75 cents to $108.79, while Metro was boosted 37 cents to $58.55.

On the economic calendar, Markit Canada’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index for November increased to 51.4 from 51.2 in the previous month, but below market expectations of 52.6.

Markit’s latest reading pointed to the sharpest expansion in factory activity since February, as output advanced at the fastest pace in nine months amid strong domestic demand; and the job rate rose slightly.


The TSX Venture Exchange ignored the negative vibes and actually gained 1.5 points to 533.31

Seven of the 12 Toronto subgroups finished the first session of December downward, as health-care and communications each slid 0.8%, and information technology dipped 0.7%.

The quintet of gainers was led by gold, better by 0.5%, materials, ahead 0.3%, and consumer staples, up 0.2%.


Stocks dropped Monday, the first trading day of December, as investors digested disappointing manufacturing data along with the latest trade news after capping a month that featured blistering gains.

The Dow Jones Industrials staggered 268.37 points, or 1.1%, to end Monday at 27,738.04

The S&P 500 fell 27.11 points to 3,113.87, its biggest one-day loss since Oct. 8.

The NASDAQ subtracted 97.48 points to 8,567.99

Shares of Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet all dropped at least 1%. Netflix closed nearly 1.5% lower. Roku, which has been one of the hottest stocks of 2019, plummeted more than 15%.

Monday’s losses came after a strong performance in November. The major averages had their biggest monthly gains since June, rallying to record highs. The S&P 500 climbed 3.4% last month while the Dow advanced 3.7%. The NASDAQ rallied 4.5%.

Manufacturing activity in the U.S. continued to contract last month, the Institute for Supply Management said. The ISM Manufacturing PMI dipped to 48.1 in November. That’s below an estimate of 49.4. Stocks hit their session lows after the data was released.

Chinese state media reported Sunday that Beijing wants a cancellation of tariffs for a phase one trade deal. There is no clear indication of when both countries will be able to sign an agreement and last week saw fresh tension between Washington and Beijing after President Donald Trump signed legislation supporting protesters in Hong Kong.

Trump also said Monday he will restore tariffs on metal imports from Brazil and Argentina. In a tweet, he said: "Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies, which is not good for our farmers. Therefore, effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries."

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury plummeted, raising yields to 1.82% from Wednesday’s 1.77%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell 80 cents at $55.97 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices plunged $3.90 to $1,468.30 U.S. an ounce.