Post-Omicron Rally Loses Steam

Tilray, Scotiabank in Vogue

What began Wednesday as a clear recovery for equities in Canada’s biggest centre again turned sour by the closing bell, as indexes gave up much of their gains, weighed by weakness in tech and gold issues.

The S&P/TSX Composite lost 195.39 points, or nearly 1%, to end the session Wednesday at 20,464.60.

The Canadian dollar dipped 0.29 cents at 77.98 cents U.S.

Among health-care concerns, Tilray tumbled 87 cents, or 6.7%, to $12.04, while Well Health docked 36 cents, or 6.3%, to $5.34.

In the gold patch, Equinox Gold fell 49 cents, or 5.4%, to $8.56, while Sandstorm lost 30 cents, or 3.8%, to $7.61.

Among tech firms, Docebo retreated $6.81, or 7.5%, to $84.60, while Nuvei Corporation slid $8.16, or 6.5%, to $117.63.

Financial tried to lift things up, with Scotiabank shares in the green $2.84, or 3.6%, to $82.62, while rival TD jumped $2.23, or 2.5%, to $92.38.

Communications were also positive, with TELUS up 18 cents to $29.38, as Rogers took on 34 cents to $57.50.

Real-estate issues cleared breakeven, with Killam Apartment REIT units surging 37 cents, or 1.7%, to $22.41, while Tricon Capital gathered 290 cents, or 1.7%, to $17.83.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that building permits increased 1.3% in value to $10.3 billion in October, led by gains in British Columbia (up 15.0%) and Ontario (roaring ahead 4.5%).

Also, Markit Canada’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index for November registered at 57.2, down slightly from 57.7 in October.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange also collapsed, handing back 21.52 points, or 2.3%, to 917.92.

All but three of 12 TSX subgroups stumbled into minus territory, chased lower by health-care, faltering 4.2%, gold, dulling 2.3%, and information technology, clicking lower 2.1%.

The three gainers were financials, ahead 0.7%, communications, stronger 0.6%, and real-estate, eking higher 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up a 500-point gain and turned sharply negative on Wednesday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of omicron in the U.S.

The blue-chip index plummeted 461.68 points, or 1.3%, to adjourn Wednesday at 34,022.04

The S&P 500 index lost 53.96 points, or 1.2%, to 4,513.04.

The NASDAQ hurtled earthward 283.64 points, or 1.8%, to 15,254.05.

Stocks dropped from their highs of the session after the CDC reported the country’s first case of the new, heavily mutated coronavirus variant called omicron in California. Omicron — first detected last week in South Africa — has been reported in at least 23 countries, according to the World Health Organization.

Travel stocks were the biggest losers following news of the first case on U.S. shores. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines all dropped more than 5% apiece. Boeing lost nearly 3%.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Carnival got hit by 5% and 4% respectively. Wynn Resorts, Hilton Worldwide fell 2%.

Stocks wrapped up a volatile month of trading on Tuesday. The Dow lost 3.7% for its second month of losses in three. The S&P 500 fell 0.8%, while the NASDAQ gained 0.25% in November.

Still, the major averages are up solidly for the year. The Dow is up 12.7% and the S&P 500 is up 21.6% in 2021. The NASDAQ is up an impressive 20.6% this year.

ADP’s private payroll data for November showed 534,000 jobs added in November, above expectations of 506,000

Elsewhere, November’s IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index came in at 58.3, lower than expected. October construction spending also rose slower than expected, but there was a positive historical revision to help offset the miss.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys regained ground, lowering yields to 1.42% from Tuesday’s 1.44%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped $1.03 to $65.15 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices moved forward $4.40 to $1,780.90 U.S. an ounce.