TSX Heads South Wednesday

Tech, Health Suffer

Stocks in Toronto took a step back from the dizzy heights with which they’d flirted most of the week, as tech and health-care issues suffered price losses.

The TSX handed back gains and ended the day losing 32.04 points to end Wednesday at 19,171.66.

The Canadian dollar strengthened 0.12 cents to 79.88 cents U.S.

Energy led the small pack of winners, with MEG Energy acquiring 60 cents, or 9.7%, to $6.82, while Whitecap Resources took on 48 cents, or 8.9%, to $5.90.

Materials flourished, mostly First Quantum Minerals, jumping $1.41, or 5.4%, to $27.34, while Ivanhoe Mines picked up 43 cents, or 5.5%, to $8.23.

Health-care stocks wobbled, though, as Organigram shares fell 37 cents, or 10.2%, to $3.27. Aphria lost 75 cents, or 4%, to $17.80.

Hut 8 Mining dropped 60 cents, or 6.9%, to $8.15, while Shopify gave up $79.34, or 5.1%, to $1,476.23

The federal Liberals will deliver on their promise to spend big when it presents its first budget in two years next week amid a fast-rising third wave of COVID-19 infections and ahead of an election expected in the coming months.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange faded 8.65 points to 924.66.

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative on the day, with information technology stumbling 1.6%, health-care slipping 1.3%, and gold down 1.2%.

The two gainers were energy, rumbling ahead 3.8%, and materials, up 0.5%.

The half-dozen laggards were led downward by information technology, off 0.8%, health-care, ailing 0.7%, and consumer staples, down 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 slipped from record levels in volatile trading on Wednesday amid a selloff in technology shares, while investors digested the first batch of corporate earnings that largely exceeded expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrials fell rapidly from its peak of the day, but still registered 53.62 points in the green to close Wednesday at 33,730.89.

The S&P 500 fell 16.93 points to 4,124.66, after hitting a fresh record high earlier in the session.

The NASDAQ Composite slouched 138.26 points, or 1%, to 13,857.84.

Coinbase’s widely watched direct listing on Wednesday opened at $381 on the Nasdaq and shot up as high as $429, but shares quickly rolled over and closed at $328.28. As Coinbase shares reversed lower, bitcoin fell 1.5% to around $61,930 from a record high of more than $63,800.

Crypto investors were hailing the company’s stock market debut as a major milestone for the industry after years of skepticism from Wall Street and regulators.

Tesla, a holder of bitcoin and a speculative tech play, fell nearly 4%. Netflix and Facebook dropped more than 2% each, which Amazon, Microsoft and Apple all dipped at least 1%.

Strong bank earnings helped support sentiment on Wednesday. Shares of Goldman Sachs climbed more than 2% after the bank blew past analysts’ expectations with record first-quarter net profits and revenues on strong performance from the firm’s equities trading and investment banking units.

JPMorgan Chase beat analysts’ estimates on the top and bottom lines, helped by a $5.2 billion benefit from releasing money it had previously set aside for loan losses that didn’t develop. Shares of JPMorgan dipped 1.8%, however, paring its 2021 gains to 19%.

Wells Fargo also reported earnings and revenue that exceeded expectations for its first quarter. The stock gained 5.5%.

In other news, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday said the central bank will reduce its bond purchases likely well before it hikes interest rates.

The U.S. Labor Department’s consumer price index came in slightly hotter than expected on Tuesday. The CPI rose 0.6% from the previous month but 2.6% from the same period a year ago. Economists polled by Dow Jones projected the headline index to rise by 0.5% month-over-month and 2.5% year-over-year.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys lost a bit of ground, raising yields to 1.63% from Tuesday’s 1.62%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices acquired $2.74 to $62.92 U.S. a barrel.

Gold dipped $10.60 to $1,737.00 U.S. an ounce.