Stocks Socked Over Economic Concerns

Cronos, Rogers Spotlighted

Equities took a pasting Wednesday, as uncertainty over the near-future direction of the economy played on the nerves of investors.

The S&P/TSX slumped 135.78 points to close Wednesday at 20,792.43

The Canadian dollar went down the scale 0.09 cents to 79.67 cents U.S.

Health-care took the brunt of it Wednesday, with Cronos Group subtracting 10 cents, or 2.6%, to $3.70, while Aurora Cannabis faltered six cents, or 3%, to $1.97.

In communications, Rogers lost $1.44, or 2.2%, to $62.82, while TELUS Corp. surrendered 68 cents, or 2.1%, to $31.17.

Industrials were also punished, as GFL Environmental docked $!.70 or 4.3%, to $38.25, while Cargojet lost $5.25, or 3.7%, to $138.75.

In corporate earnings, Dollarama jumped $3.47, or 5%, to $73.28, after it beat estimates for quarterly sales as surging inflation fueled demand for the discount store's groceries and household essentials.

Sleep Country Holdings zoomed 37 cents, or 1.4%, to $26.77.

In energy stocks, Baytex Energy acquired 38 cents, or 4.6%, to $8.73, while Crescent Point Energy grabbed 47 cents, or 3.6%, to $13.48.

Canada's budgetary watchdog said on Tuesday prices in this country are rising at their quickest pace in 31 years, but that is not yet feeding in to a wage spiral, with inflation still expected to return to target in coming years.

Internationally, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Wednesday cut its 2022 global growth forecast to 2.8% from 3.2%, a day after the World Bank slashed its estimates by nearly a third to 2.9%.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange eked up 1.42 points, to 724.19.

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative on the day, with health-care descending 2.1%, communications off 1.8%, and industrials backpedaling 1.7%.

Only consumer discretionaries, up 1.1%, and energy, advancing 0.6%, bucked the negative trend.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell on Wednesday as investors monitored signs of a potential economic slowdown and kept an eye on the bond market.

The Dow Jones Industrials crumbled 269.24 points to close Wednesday at 32,190.90.

The S&P 500 handed back 44.91 points, or 1.1%, to 4,115.77.

The NASDAQ Composite plummeted 88.96 points to 12,086.27.

The U.S.-traded shares of Credit Suisse fell 1% after the bank issued a profit warning for the second quarter, citing tighter monetary policy and the war in Ukraine. Intel dropped more than 5% after management warned of weakening demand for semiconductors at an industry conference.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow tracker shows a growth rate of just 0.9% for the second quarter, down from 1.3% last week. Mortgage demand hit its lowest level in 22 years last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Energy was a bright spot for the market, as the sector closed at its highest level since August 2014. Chinese tech stocks helped boost the Nasdaq, with the U.S.-traded shares of JD.com and Pinduoduo rising about 7.7% and 9.7%, respectively.

Elsewhere, shares of Robinhood fell 3.9% after Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler detailed potential rule changes around trade execution, such as possibly requiring retail orders to be routed into auctions.

Moderna rose nearly 2.2% after its modified COVID-19 booster shot showed a stronger response to new variants.

On the earnings front, Campbell Soup moved higher by about 1.5% after a stronger-than-expected quarterly report.

Treasury prices shed strength, raising yields to 3.02% from Tuesday’s 2.98%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $3.24 to $122.65 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices brightened $3.30 to $1,855.40 U.S. an ounce.