Stocks Pounded to Begin Thursday

Energy Shares Take Knocks

Equities in Canada’s largest centre opened lower on Thursday, dragged by energy stocks after a slate of weak earnings from companies including Husky Energy and TC Energy.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gave up Wednesday’s gains and more, sliding 202.1 points, or 1.2%, to begin Thursday at 16,092.56.

The Canadian dollar swooned 0.38 cents to 74.57cents U.S.

Husky shed 19 cents, or 4%, in the first hour to $4.53, while TC let go of $1.20, or 2%, to $60.16.

Toronto-Dominion Bank is allowing most of its employees to work from home at least until the end of this year and possibly into 2021, according to an internal memo.

T-D shares surrendered $1.06, or 1.8%, to $58.84.

Agnico Eagle Mines reported a near four-fold rise in quarterly profit, driven by a surge in gold prices, while its costs tied to exploration also fell. The miner added 97 cents, or 1%, to $98.68.

National Bank of Canada raised the rating on Alaris Royalty to outperform from sector perform. Alaris shares shed a penny to $12.52.

RBC raised the target price on Canfor to $22.00 from $18.00. Canfor lost 29 cents, or 1.8%, to $16.15.

National Bank of Canada raised the price target on Equitable Group to $75.00 from $60.00. Equitable shares climbed 58 cents to $81.15.

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada says the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours showed payroll employment decreased in May, falling 585,100, or 4.1%. This followed declines in March (-0.9 million) and April (-1.9 million), and brought total payroll employment losses since February to 3.4 million, or 19.9%.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange stumbled 6.65 points to 704.49.

All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups were in minus territory, with energy fading 3.2%, consumer discretionary stocks down 1.6%, and financials off 1.5%.

Only health-care held out against the tide, gaining 0.6%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell sharply on Thursday as big technology shares declined ahead of their earnings reports after the bell. Investors also digested a record drop in Gross Domestic Product.

The Dow Jones Industrials slumbered 482.85 points, or 1.8%, to start Thursday’s session at 26,056.72.

The S&P 500 wilted 47.94 points, or 1.5%, to 3,210.91.

The NASDAQ slumped 100.29 points, or 1%, to 10,442.65.

Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook, representing nearly $5 trillion in market capitalization, are all set to report. All four shares were lower.

The Big Tech reports come after each stock has posted massive year-to-date gains. Facebook and Alphabet are both up more than 13% in 2020. Amazon has surged 64.2% in that time and Apple is up 29.5% this year.

It will also be the busiest day of the current earnings season with tons of companies including Ford, UPS and Procter & Gamble also posting results.

P&G shares gained 1.7% after reporting stronger sales of cleaning products. UPS soared 10.8% after reporting a second-quarter surge in home deliveries. Stocks also tumbled after data showed gross domestic product plunged by a record 32.9% in the second quarter.

The number was not as bad as feared, however, as economists had expected a 34.7% decline.

Meanwhile, U.S. weekly jobless claims came in at 1.434 million, roughly in line with estimates. However, continuing claims, or those who have been collecting for at least two weeks, totaled 17.018 million, up from about 16 million last week.

There was pressure on bank stocks. JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America all fell more than 2.5%. Citigroup dropped 4.5%.

The move lower on Thursday follows a session that saw major averages posting solid gains after the Federal Reserve kept the overnight U.S. rate in a range between 0% and 0.25%. The central bank noted that while the economy has recovered slightly, activity and employment remain “well below their levels at the beginning of the year.”

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell added the central bank will keep an accommodative stance until the economy has “weathered” the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained, lowering yields to 0.55% from Wednesday’s 0.57%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped $1.70 to $39.57 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dulled $5.40 to $1,948 U.S. an ounce.