Stocks Suffer Sudden Drop by Midday

Stocks in Toronto retreated from the highs of the early morning on Wednesday, as industrials and consumer stocks weighed on gains in the health-care sector. The S&P/TSX Composite had given up 33.07 points by noon Wednesday to 18,375.55. The Canadian dollar eked up 0.07 cents to 78.82 cents U.S. The […]

Stocks in Toronto retreated from the highs of the early morning on Wednesday, as industrials and consumer stocks weighed on gains in the health-care sector.

The S&P/TSX Composite had given up 33.07 points by noon Wednesday to 18,375.55.

The Canadian dollar eked up 0.07 cents to 78.82 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Aphria, which jumped $1.77, or 5.9%, to $31.86, and Aurora Cannabis, which rose $2.26, or 11.4%, to $22.01.

Keyera Corp fell $1.64, or 6.2%, the most on the TSX, to $24.84, after

posting a loss of $0.34 per share in the fourth quarter.

The second-biggest decliner was BlackBerry, down 45 cents, or 2.6%., to $16.57

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange again headed south midday, losing 16.28 points, or 1.5%, to 1,055.01.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups moved into the red, as industrials shed 0.8%, consumer discretionary stocks gave up 0.7%, and utilities dipped 0.6%.

The three gainers proved to be health-care, still above water 3.6%, energy, better 0.8%, and real-estate, stronger 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks wiped out earlier gains and traded in the red on Wednesday as investors rotated out of major technology stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrials came off its highs of the morning, but remained above breakeven 26.89 points to 31,402.72.

The S&P 500 let go of 3.7 points to 3,907.53.

The NASDAQ Composite fell 37.62 points from its all-time record to 13,970.07. Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook and Netflix all slid into negative territory.

Coca-Cola rose 0.4% after the company topped Wall Street’s estimates for its fourth-quarter earnings with cost-cutting efforts. Under Armour jumped more than 7% after reporting a surprise profit for the holiday quarter as sales were boosted by strong digital growth.

Twitter popped about 9% after the social media company beat Wall Street’s earnings and revenue expectations.

Traders will also be watching closely Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech before The Economic Club of New York at 2:00 p.m. ET.

The moves came after data from the U.S. Labor Department indicated tamed inflationary pressure. The U.S. consumer price index rose 0.3% in January, matching expectations from economists polled by Dow Jones. The core consumer price index, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, was unchanged last month.

Still, Wall Street is having a strong February with the S&P 500 up more than 5% so far. Investors remained optimistic about additional COVID-19 stimulus. House Democrats unveiled the details of a relief proposal that included $1,400 direct checks with faster phase-outs than previous bills.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys gained, lowering yields to 1.15% from Tuesday’s 1.16%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices added 49 cents to $58.85 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices hung onto gains of $3.30 to $1,840.80 U.S. an ounce.

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