Stocks Crumble Yet Again

Altagas, Semafo in Focus

The downward journey for equities in North America resumed without missing a beat Monday, as fears of the coronavirus outbreak led more fully into jitters about a global recession

The TSX Composite Index plummeted 623.32 points, or 5.3%, to close Monday at 11,228.49

The Canadian dollar inched back 0.04 cents at 68.77 cents U.S.

Among real-estate firms, Cominar REIT units dumped $2.05, or 21.6%, to $7.44, while Killam Apartment REIT slid $3.86, or 21.6%, to $14.05.

In the utility sector, Altagas shed $2.71, or 22.6%, to $9.30, while Brookfield Renewable Partners dipped $7.33, or 14.1%, to $44.67.

Consumer staples were also roughed up, as North West Company doffed $3.54, or 17.6%, to $16.53, while Empire Company skidded $4.31, or 14.9%, to $24.66.

Gold and material stocks did their bit to look positive, with Semafo climbing 72 cents, or 36.2%, to $2.71, while Kinross Gold jumping 74 cents, or 14%, to $5.94.

First Majestic Silver strengthened $1.01, or 12.6%, to $9.04, while Silvercorp Metals hopped $1.22, or 33.8%, to $4.83.

The Canadian death toll from the virus outbreak jumped by more than 50% on Sunday, and impatient officials threatened to punish people refusing to take precautions to fight the spread of the highly contagious illness.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that wholesale trade increased for a second consecutive month, up 1.8% to $65.2 billion in January.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gave back 5.35 points, or 1.5%, to 351.19

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative on the day, with real-estate clobbered 14.9%, utilities down 12.6%, and consumer staples off 8.7%.

The two gainers were gold, up 10.8%, and materials, ahead 7%

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell sharply on Monday as U.S. lawmakers failed to push through massive fiscal stimulus to curtail the economic blow from the coronavirus.

The Dow Jones Industrials slumped 582.05 points, or 3%, to 18,591.93. The 30-stock average also hit its lowest level in three years

The broader S&P 500 fell 67.52 points, or 2.9%, to 2,237.40

The NASDAQ came off its lows of the day, bur finished negative 18.84 points to 6,860.67.

For a second time in less than 24 hours, a bill that would authorize giant fiscal spending to stimulate the economy failed to clear a key procedural hurdle. Earlier on Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that Congress was “very close” to getting a fiscal package done, noting it must be pushed forward “today.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, said he and Mnuchin would meet to try and work out a deal.

The failed votes in the U.S. Senate were enough to pressure Wall Street once again even after the Federal Reserve announced an open-ended asset purchase program, which the central bank will run in the "amounts needed to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions and the economy."

Boeing shares rose 11%, outperforming the market, as Goldman Sachs made a bold call Sunday evening, telling clients the company had enough cash to survive the coronavirus downturn and that air travel would eventually return.

The stock also jumped after Boeing announced it will close Seattle-area factories due to the outbreak. The shares are off 66% this year. The aerospace giant also suspended its dividend.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 0.79% from Friday’s 0.88%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices recovered 89 cents to $23.52 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices increased $76.70 to $1,561.30 U.S. an ounce.