TSX Falls by Noon

Aphria, Trillium in Focus

Equity markets in Canada’s largest centre reversed initial gains to fall on Tuesday, dragged by materials stocks, although the approval of a $2.3-trillion coronavirus aid package in the United States kept sentiment in check.

The TSX reached noon off 53.99 points to 17,569.89.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.24 cents to 78.10 cents U.S.

The index trades only three days this week, with trading shut down on Friday for New Year’s Day.

Pot producer Aphria fell 45 cents, or 4.9%, the most on the TSX, to $8.71, while the second biggest decliner was cancer drug developer Trillium Therapeutics, down 36 cents, or 2.2%, to $16.28.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were miner MAG Silver, which jumped $1.20, or 5%, to $25.08, and power producer
TransAlta Renewables, which rose 80 cents, or 3.9%, to $21.55.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Power Corporation of Canada, up seven cents to $29.46, TC Energy, down 29 cents, to $52.67, and Zenabis Global, up a quarter of a cent, or 5.3%, to five cents.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange jumped 12.78 points, or 1.5%, to 858.56.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups reached lunch time higher, with utilities surging 0.7%, financials, up 0.4%, and industrials, better by 0.2%.

The five laggards were weighed most by health-care, slouching 3.6%, information technology, sliding 1.9%, and gold, off 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET
Stocks were mostly flat on Tuesday after reaching fresh all-time highs as traders weighed the possibility of even more fiscal stimulus being approved by Congress.

The Dow Jones Industrials sidled lower 6.1 points at 30,397.87

The S&P 500 advanced 7.45 points to 3,742.81.

The NASDAQ lopped off 6.89 points to 12,892.53.

Boeing rose 0.8% as its beleaguered 737 Max jet flew once again in the U.S. Health-care was the best-performing S&P 500 sector, advancing 0.7%.

The House passed a bill late Monday to increase the direct payments to $2,000 from the $600 included in a relief package recently signed by President Donald Trump. Trump had previously called for a $2,000 direct payment to Americans. Senate Republicans, however, have opposed larger direct payments despite Trump’s demands.

Wall Street was coming off a strong session, with sentiment boosted by Trump signing a $900-billion coronavirus relief package into law.

Stocks are heading into year-end with surprisingly strong gains. Entering Tuesday’s session, the S&P 500 was up 15.6% for 2020 and the

Dow up 6.5% over that time period. The NASDAQ, meanwhile, has surged more than 43% in 2020 as investors flocked into major tech names such as Apple, Amazon and Facebook.

The number of coronavirus cases keeps rising in the U.S., however, casting doubt over the economic recovery heading into the new year.

Over the past week, at least 184,000 new infections have been reported in the U.S. per day, according to an analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were raising, lowering yields to Monday’s 0.93%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices collected 38 cents to $48.009 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $6.60 to $1,887.00