Stocks Tumble to Begin Friday

Guru, CAPREIT in Spotlight

Canada's main stock index opened lower on Friday, as health-care and consumer stocks lost ground. The index was on course to record its worst weekly performance in eight months.

The TSX Composite fell 102.72 points to begin October at 19,967.53

The Canadian dollar gained 0.18 cents to 79.01 cents U.S.

Toronto-Dominion Bank became the first major Canadian lender to raise fixed mortgage rates since March, reversing recent cuts after bond yields jumped over the past week on inflation expectations.

TD shares took on 73 cents to $84.58.

TD Securities raised the target price on CAPREIT to $72.00 from $70.00. CAPREIT shares descended 34 cents to $58.77.

RBC initiated coverage on Enthusiast Gaming Holdings with an outperform rating. Enthusiast shares gathered two cents to $44.59.

CIBC initiated coverage on Guru Organic Energy with an outperform rating. Gugu shares dropped 30 cents, or 1.8%, to $16.50.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported real gross domestic product edged down 0.1% in July, as gains in services-producing industries were more than offset by declines in goods-producing industries.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gave back 0.09 points to 858.78

All but one of he 12 TSX subgroups were negative at the start of trade, as health-care slid 2%, consumer staples, down 1.3%, and gold dipped 1%.

Only energy held out against the negative tide, picking up 0.6%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks retreated again on Friday even as news of a new oral treatment for COVID-19 boosted shares of companies tied to the economic recovery.

The Dos Jones Industrials eked higher 5.45 points, or 1.6%, to 33,849.37,

The S&P 500 dropped 14.42 points to 4,293.12.

The NASDAQ Composite faded 112.82 points to 14,335.76, and was on track for its sixth-straight losing session.

Shares of Dow member Merck jumped 7% after the drug maker and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said their oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19 reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 50% for patients with mild or moderate cases. The companies plan to seek emergency authorization for the treatment.

The new drug from Merck appeared to boost travel stocks. Shares of Royal Caribbean and Las Vegas Sands added 3% and 2%, respectively, in early trading. Southwest Airlines led a gain in airline stocks after JPMorgan upgraded the stock and said most of the group was worth buying for a trade.

Vaccine stocks, including Moderna, dipped in early trading following the Merck news.

The market just capped a tumultuous September as inflation fears, slowing growth and rising rates kept investors on edge. The S&P 500 finished the month down 4.8%, breaking a seven-month winning streak. The Dow dumped 4.3%, and the NASDAQ fell 5.3%, suffering their worst months of the year.

On the data front, personal income rose 0.2% in August, in line with expectations. The price index for core personal consumption expenditures was up 3.6% year over year, slightly ahead of the estimate of 3.5% from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

Congress was poised to prevent a government shutdown Thursday. The Senate and House both passed a short-term appropriations bill that would keep the government running through Dec. 3 and sent it to President Joe Biden to sign.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys were higher, lowering yields to 1.48% from Thursday’s 1.50%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained nine cents to $75.12 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices moved upward $2.70 to $1,799.70 U.S. an ounce.