TSX Plunges by Noon

Techs Roughed up Worst


Canada's main stock index erased early gains to trade lower midday Friday, mirroring the mood on Wall Street, as losses in pot producers eclipsed firmer energy stocks and gains in Bank of Montreal after it reported upbeat earnings.

The S&P/TSX Composite beat a sharp retreat of 198.91 points, or 1%, to break for lunch Friday at 20,563.22.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.09 cents at 78.11 cents U.S.

Tech stocks plummeted worst, as BlackBerry gave back 50 cents, or 4.2%, to $11.42.

Pot producer Cronos Group settled 21 cents, or 3.7%, to $5.45, rival Canopy Growth dipped 36 cents, or 2.7%, to $12.92, while Tilray stumbled 72 cents, or 5.9%, to $11.48.

BMO, for its part, added $2.88 or 2.1%, to $137.69, as its quarterly earnings topped market expectations and the lender joined rivals in raising its dividend and announcing a share buyback program.

On matters economic, Statistics Canada reported that the economy created 154,000 jobs in November, thus driving down the unemployment rate to 6%, or within 0.3 percentage points of what it was in February 2020.

The jobs numbers were 186,000, or 1.0%, higher than its pre-COVID February 2020 level.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange took a header of 16.49 points, or 1.8%, to 893.73.

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the red, weighed by information technology, off 3.5%, health-care, wilting 2.5%, and industrials, sliding 1.2%.

The two gainers were communications, better by 0.2%, and consumer staples, edging up 0.04%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 dropped on Friday, after a disappointing November jobs report, as the market nears the end of a roller-coaster week driven by COVID omicron variant developments.

The Dow Jones Industrials caved 262.88 points to 34,376.91, dragged down by a 3% loss in Boeing

The S&P 500 index lost 66.51 points, or 1.5%, to 4,510.59.

The NASDAQ shed 430.69 points, or 2.8%, to 14,950.63. The major averages are on pace for a losing week.

Stocks tied closely to the virus have led the market on its week-long seesaw, and that continued Friday. Companies that benefit from the economic expansion, such as hotels and airlines, led losers. Las Vegas Sands was off 3% and Delta Air Lines fell 1.2%. Norwegian Cruise Line fell 2.7% and Carnival Corp. lost 3%.

Despite a rebound on Thursday that saw the Dow rise more than 600 points, the Dow is down 0.8% for the week. The S&P 500 is down 0.6% and the NASDAQ has lost 1.3% since Monday.

November’s jobs report showed slower-than-expected job creation last month. Non-farm payrolls increased by just 210,000 for the month, well below the 573,000 jobs predicted by economists polled by Dow Jones.

However, the unemployment rate fell sharply to 4.2%, better than estimates of 4.5%.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys gained some territory, lowering yields to 1.38% from Thursday’s 1.44%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices stayed in plus territory 81 cents to $67.31 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices advanced $16.50 to $1,779.20 U.S. an ounce.