Stocks Crumble as Surging Virus Cases Weigh

Cenovus, Husky, Genworth in Focus

Stock markets in Canada fell on Monday, dragged by energy stocks as a surge in coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Europe threatened fuel demand, while Libya's fast growing output also weighed on prices.

The TSX moved determinedly south 205.39 points, or 1.3%, to pause for lunch Monday at 16,098.69.

The Canadian dollar lost 0.35 cents at 75.92 cents U.S.

Cenovus Energy fell 54 cents, or 11.1%, the most on the TSX, to $4.34, after the company agreed to buy Husky Energy, and the second biggest decliner was Vermilion Energy, down 36 cents, or 9.3%, to $3.52.

Genworth MI Canada jumped $8.57. or 24.1%, to $44.15, to be the largest percentage gainer on the TSX. The company said Brookfield Business Partners will buy the remaining 43% stake it does not hold in the mortgage insurer for about $1.6 billion. Brookfield Business units gained 20 cents to $42.50.

Their gains were followed by Husky Energy which rose 29 cents, or 9.2%, to $3.46, on the Cenovus deal.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dumped 10.25 points, or 1.4%, to 707.88 by noon.

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative, as energy plummeted 3.6%, while health-care skidded 2.8%, and consumer discretionary stocks floundered 2.3%.

Gold made slight headway, up 0.3%, while materials inched up 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell sharply on Monday as coronavirus infections jumped and negotiations for a fiscal stimulus package before the election came down to the wire.

The Dow Jones Industrials plunged 727.58 points, or 2.6%, to 27,607.59, and was on pace for its biggest one-day drop since Sept. 3.

The S&P 500 moved south 69.98 points, or 2%, to 3,395.41.

The NASDAQ plummeted 189.54 points, or 1.6%, to 11,358.75.

This week marks the last week of October and the final trading period before Nov. 3. Major averages are on track for modest gains for the month, with the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ both rising more than 3% so far. The 30-stock Dow is up about 2% this month.

The decline came amid a record surge in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. The country saw more than 83,000 new infections on both Friday and Saturday after outbreaks in Sun Belt states, surpassing a previous record of roughly 77,300 cases set in July, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The data also showed the country has reported an average of 68,767 cases per day over the past seven days, a record.

Stocks with the most to lose from rising cases and a stalled stimulus plan led the decline Monday. Royal Caribbean shares fell 10.1%. Delta fell 5.4%.

SAP, one of the biggest software companies in Europe, saw its shares plunge more than 20% after warning that businesses are holding back from spending; it also cut its earnings and revenue estimates for 2020. Oracle dropped 4.4%, and Microsoft sank 2.4%.

However, some names that would benefit from people spending more time at home bucked the broader market’s negative trend. Amazon climbed 0.4% and Zoom Video gained 3.2%.

Former Vice President Joe Biden maintains a sizable lead over President Donald Trump in national polls, although the gap has narrowed slightly as of late.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained, lowering yields to 0.80% from Friday’s 0.84%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices docked $1.32 at $38.53 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices brightened $2.20 to $1,907.40