Stocks Take Lumps by Noon

Aecon, SNC in Focus

Canada's main stock index fell on Friday, pressured by losses in the energy sector, while a record daily rise in global coronavirus cases further dented investor sentiment.

The TSX slumped 158.92 points to greet noon Friday at 15,511/78.

The Canadian dollar was unchanged in price at 75.10 cents U.S.

Regions across North America revert to Standard Time on the weekend, and residents are urged to set their clocks back an hour before bed on Saturday. Remember: spring forward, fall backward.

SNC-Lavalin Group fell $2.85, or 13.8%, the biggest drop on the TSX, to $17.82, after the construction company reported a third-quarter loss, followed by Trillium Therapeutics, down 77 cents, or 4.5%, to $16.28.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Aecon Group, which jumped 50 cents, or 3.7%, to $14.13, after the construction firm posted strong third-quarter results.

Gildan Activewear, however, gave up earlier gains to post in the red 61 cents, or 2.1%, to $27.89, by noon after multiple brokerages turned bullish on the apparel maker.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada said the economy progressed in August, with the Gross Domestic Product growing 1.2%, as 15 of 20 industrial sectors were up and two were essentially unchanged in the month.

Elsewhere, the raw materials index fell 2.2%, pulled downward mainly by lower prices for crude energy products, while the industrial product price index edged down 0.1% in September, led by lower prices for energy and petroleum products.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange lost 4.14 points by noon hour to 683.

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower in the early afternoon, weighed by health-care, down 2.5%, while information technology and utilities, off 2.1% each.

The two gainers were gold, up improving 1.2%, and materials, up 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell on Friday, led by major tech shares, as Wall Street wrapped up a difficult week in which coronavirus cases rose, U.S. fiscal stimulus talks broke down and traders braced for volatile swings during next week’s election.

The Dow Jones Industrials slid 281.22 points, or 1.1%, to 26,377.89.

The S&P 500 skidded 47.02 points, or 1.4%, to 3,263.09

The NASDAQ swooned 285.42 points, or 2.3%, to 10,927.17.

The Dow has fallen 6.9%, and the S&P 500 is down 5.8%, for the week and were on track for their biggest weekly losses since March. The
NASDAQ has lost more than 5% over that time period and was also headed for its worst one-week performance since March.

The Dow and the S&P 500 are also set to post their second straight month of losses as Wall Street wraps up a turbulent October. The 30-stock average is down 5% this month, and the S&P 500 has lost 3%. The NASDAQ is down more than 2% over that time period.

Shares of Apple fell 5.5% after the tech giant reported a 20% decline in iPhone sales and failed to offer investors any guidance for the quarter ahead. Amazon dropped 4.8% even after the e-commerce giant reported blowout third-quarter results with a big beat on the top line.

Meanwhile, Twitter lost more than 15% after the social media company reported user growth that fell short of expectations. Facebook was off by 6.6% amid a surprise decline in active users in Canada and the U.S.

Shares of Alphabet bucked the negative trend for tech stocks, rising 4.1% after the Google parent company posted quarterly results that topped Wall Street expectations.

Earlier in the week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate until Nov. 9, making it unlikely for Democrats and Republicans to reach a deal on new fiscal stimulus. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, meanwhile, accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of miscasting the state of the stalled negotiations, calling it a "political stunt."

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury sank, raising yields to 0.86% from Thursday’s 0.83%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped 66 cents at $35.48 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices jumped $14.90 to $1,882.40