Stocks Slump Wednesday

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 16:35 PM EST Stocks Slump Wednesday Staples Drop, Health-care Surges Equities in Canada’s biggest market struggled much of Wednesday, trying to get back to Tuesday’s level, but done in ultimately by weakness in consumer and resource stocks. The TSX fell 51.06 points to end Wednesday at 17,934.74. The Canadian dollar forged higher 0.08 cents at 78.78 cents U.S. Consumer staples proved the chief weight among the stocks losing ground, Alimentation Couche-Tard losing $4.34, or 10.5%, to $36.97, while North West Company slid 68 cents, or 2.1%, to $32.56. Among materials, First Quantum Mining stumbled $1.05, or 4.2%, to $24.20, while Hudbay Minerals lost 28 cents, or 3.1%, to $8.59. Gold stocks suffered, too, as New Gold lost seven cents, or 2.7%, to $2.56., while Seabridge Gold gave back 78 cents, or 2.9%, to $25.88. Gains in health-care, however, tried to limit the damage, as Bausch Health Companies tacked on $2.85, or 9.6%, to $32.67, while Cronos Group strengthened $1.18, or 9.5%, to $13.59. Tech issues showed that great upward drive, as Lightspeed POS muscled up $6.83, or 7.8%, to $94.87, while Docebo hiked $2.06, or 2.8%, to $75.66. In utilities, Transalta advanced 21 cents, or 2.1%, to $10.95, while ATCO Ltd. moved up 64 cents, or 1.7%, to $37.53. Ontario on Tuesday declared an emergency after latest modeling put Canada's most populous province on track to have more than 20,000 new COVID-19 cases per day by the middle of February. ON BAYSTREET The TSX Venture Exchange beat breakeven by 1.63 points to 900.24 The 12 subgroups were evenly divided, with health-care sprinting 5.4%, information technology improving 0.6%, and utilities up 0.4%. The half-dozen laggards were weighed most by consumer staples, down 2.9%, materials sinking 1.4%, and gold, falling 0.9%. ON WALLSTREET The S&P 500 and NASDAQ closed slightly higher on Wednesday, led by tech shares, as traders kept an eye on interest rates, the political uncertainty coming out of Washington and a still raging pandemic. The Dow Jones Industrials fell slightly off, losing 8.22 points to close Wednesday at 31,060.47 The S&P 500 stayed above water 8.65 points to 3,809.84 The NASDAQ grew 56.52 points to 13,128.95. Intel jumped nearly 7% on news that CEO Bob Swan would step down, effective Feb. 15. Other tech-related names also caught a bid, with Netflix gaining 2.7% and Amazon popping 1.4%. Apple also closed higher by more than 1%. Traders digested the latest inflation-data release, as the U.S. consumer price index rose 0.4% in December. That was in line with a Dow Jones estimate. Following Tuesday’s muted session, the major averages remain lower for the week. The NASDAQ is the relative underperformer, down roughly 1%. The moves come as turmoil in Washington continues. Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday night he will not remove President Donald Trump from office. That came before the Democratic-held House approved a resolution urging Pence and the Cabinet to push Trump out of the White House after he incited last week’s riot on the Capitol. The House of Representatives plans to vote on Wednesday to impeach Trump for a second time. COVID cases also continue to increase in the U.S. and abroad. The U.S. is recording at least 248,650 new COVID-19 cases and at least 3,223 virus-related deaths each day, based on a seven-day average calculated using Johns Hopkins University data. Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained back lost ground, lowering yields to 1.10% from Tuesday’s 1.14%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions. Oil prices subtracted 30 cents to $52.91 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices gained $4.50 to $1,848.70 U.S. an ounce.
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