TSX Negative by Noon

Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday, dragged down by stocks of cannabis companies, a day after hitting a record high on the back of a sharp rally in the sector that was fueled by Reddit-inspired retail investors. The S&P/TSX Composite lost 36.66 points by midday Thursday to 18,421.12. The […]

Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday, dragged down by stocks of cannabis companies, a day after hitting a record high on the back of a sharp rally in the sector that was fueled by Reddit-inspired retail investors.

The S&P/TSX Composite lost 36.66 points by midday Thursday to 18,421.12.

The Canadian dollar inched up 0.08 cents to 78.81 cents U.S.

Bombardier said it would end production of its Learjet business aircraft in 2021 and slash about 1,600 jobs to cut costs, after reporting an adjusted loss before interest and taxes for the fourth quarter, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit demand.

Bombardier shares dropped a dime, or 13.7%, to 63 cents.

Restaurant Brands International on Thursday posted quarterly profit below Wall Street estimates, dented by tepid demand for its Tim Hortons coffee as customers avoided stepping out amid fresh restrictions imposed to tackle COVID-19 cases.

Restaurant Brands shares docked $3.21, or 4.2%, to $73.09.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Inter Pipeline, which jumped $4.02, or 30%, to $17.42, after Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. offered to buy the company for $5.6 billion.

Seven Generations Energy rose 60 cents, or 7.4%, to $8.62, and was the second largest gainer after Canada’s ARC Resources agreed to buy the company for $2.2 billion.

Canopy Growth fell $13.71 or 20.7%, the most on the TSX, to $52.50. The second biggest decliner was Aphria, taking a dive of $10.38, or 31.1%, to $22.99.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange plummeted 18.88 points, or 1.8%, to 1,045.97.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups spent lunch hour in the red, most notably, health-care, taking a header of 16.1%, after many days of gains. Other laggards included information technology and gold, each tumbling 0.5%.

The four gainers were led by industrials, ahead 0.9% financials, picking up 0.4%, and real-estate, inching up 0.2%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks inched higher on Thursday led by the technology sector, as the market looked to continue February’s momentum.

The Dow Jones Industrials removed some of its prior strength, losing 29.59 points from Wednesday’s all-time peak at 31,408.21.

The S&P 500 stayed buoyant 4.15 points to 3,914.09. Tech was the best-performing sector, rising about 1%.

The NASDAQ Composite recovered 56.29 points to 14,028.82.

After a strong runup in equities in the beginning of February, the market rally seemed to slow down a tad. The Dow advanced slightly Wednesday to eke out a record high, bringing its monthly gains to nearly 5%. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ closed lower in the previous session.

Investors also took comfort in a solid earnings season. Of the S&P 500 components that have reported earnings thus far, more than 80% have topped Wall Street’s expectations, according to experts.

On the data front, new claims for jobless benefits came in at 793,000 last week, worse than an estimate of 760,000 from economists polled by Dow Jones.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the economy faces challenges in the labor market, and so monetary policy needs to stay “patiently accommodative.” In remarks at the Economic Club of New York, Powell said the employment picture is a “long way” from where it needs to be.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys backpedaled, propelling yields to 1.16% from Wednesday’s 1.12%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dipped 24 cents to $58.44 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices shed $11.30 to $1,831.40 U.S. an ounce.

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