TSX Emerges Stronger Monday

Vermilion, Centerra in Focus

(CORRECTS CLOSING FIGURES FOR TSX VENTURE)

Equities in Toronto fought their way higher Monday, even as tech and health-care issues provided huge anchors.

The S&P/TSX Composite pushed higher 32.47 points to end the week’s first session at 18,416.74.

The Canadian dollar slipped 0.10 cents to 79.27 cents U.S.

In spite of the negative pressure, energy stocks proved the stars Monday, with Vermilion Energy rocketing 95 cents, or 13.7%, to $7.89, while MEG Energy grabbed hold of 72 cents, or 12.2%, to $6.60.

Golds shone, too, primarily Centerra Gold, stronger by $1.08, or 7.9%, to $14.57, while New Gold popped 25 cents, or 13%, to $2.17.

In other resource stocks, First Majestic Silver jumped $2.67, or 12.1%, to $24.76, while Fortuna Silver Mining spiked 96 cents, or 10.4%, to $10.17.

In the health-care field, Trillium Pharmaceuticals took the biggest lumps, 85 cents, to 5%, to $16.05, while Cronos Group dipped 73 cents, or 4.7%, to $14.75.

Among techs, Sierra Wireless deducted $1.40, or 5.5%, to $22.30, while Docebo fell $3.39, or 5.1%, to $63.24.

Utilities lost strength as well, as Algonquin Power gave up a dollar, or 4.6%, to $20.80, while Boralex sank $1.95. or 4.3%, to $43.56.

On a day without macroeconomic news, it was reported that Canadian banks are set to post their fourth straight year-on-year quarterly profit drop when they report results next week, the longest decline streak since the financial crisis, on margin compression and declining commercial lending, but flattening loan loss provisions signal a turning point.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 15.6 points, or 1.4%, to conclude Monday at 1,082.96.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative on the day, with health-care lower by 2.7%, information technology shedding 2.2%, and utilities off 1.6%.

The four gainers were led by energy, ahead 5%, gold, up 4.1%, and materials, surging 3.3%.

Real-estate concerns were unchanged on the day.

ON WALLSTREET

Steep losses in technology shares dragged down the S&P 500 on Monday as a continuous rise in bond yields dented the appetite for growth stocks. Meanwhile, investors piled into economically sensitive names to bet on a comeback.

The Dow Jones Industrials, however, progressed 27.37 points to 31,521.69. A handful of economic comeback plays boosted the blue-chip benchmark. Disney jumped 4.4%, while industrial giant Caterpillar and chemicals company Dow Inc. both climbed more than 3.5%.
American Express tallied 3.2%, and Chevron gained 2.7%.

The S&P 500 dropped 30.21 points to 3,876.50, falling for a fifth straight session amid the weakness in tech and consumer discretionary.

The NASDAQ Composite sank like a stone, losing 341.41 points, or 2.5%, to 13,533.05, as Tesla shares slid 8.6%. Big tech stocks came under pressure with Apple, Amazon and Microsoft all dropping at least 2%.

Monday’s losses pared the NASDAQ’s February gains to 3.5%. The S&P 500 is up 4.4% this month, while the Dow has gained 5.1%.

All eyes will be on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who delivers his semi-annual testimony on the economy before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday. His comments on rates and inflation could determine the market direction for the week.

On Monday, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said in a speech that the central bank is "closely monitoring the evolution of long-term nominal bond yields." European sovereign bonds yields moved lower in response to her remarks.

On the pandemic front, the White House said that it expects to ship out millions of delayed coronavirus vaccine doses this week after a sweeping winter storm disrupted logistics. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday that a New York resident has tested positive for the COVID-19 variant first identified in South Africa.

Some equity investors grew concerned about rapidly rising Treasury yields in recent weeks as they could especially hurt high-growth companies reliant on easy borrowing while diminishing the relative appeal of stocks.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys lost some ground, raising yields to 1.36% from Friday’s 1.34%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $2.45 to $61.69 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices raced ahead $30.20 to $1,807.60