Negative End to Rough Week

Stocks in Canada’s largest centre stumbled badly to end a generally rough week Friday, with resource stocks the main culprits.

The S&P/TSX Composite swooned 163.28 points to close Friday, the week and the month at 18,060.26. On the week, the index gave up 324 points, or 1.76%

The Canadian dollar thundered lower 0.68 cents to 78.61 cents U.S.

In materials, First Quantum Minerals chucked $1.89, or 6.4%,, to end the week at $27.54, while MAG Silver lost $2.11, or 7.9%, to $24.49.

Golds took something of a bath, too, with Eldorado Gold shedding $1.22, or 8.4%, to $13.39, while Centerra Gold dumped $1.13, or 8.4%, to $12.36.

In energy stocks, Whitecap Resources fell 18 cents, or 3.1%, to $5.69, while MEG Energy lost 17 cents, or 2.5%, to $6.58.

Consumer discretionary stocks tried to lift things up a tad, with Spin Master shares strengthened $1.69, or 6.4%, to $28.35, while BRP Inc. added four dollars, or 4.5%, to $92.09.

Tech shares proved stronger, Shopify hiked $64.95, or 4.1%, to $1,637.44, while Absolute Software Corporation acquired 79 cents, or 4.3%, to $19.40.

Real-estate issues ascended, with Altus Group taking $1.32, or 2.4%, to $55.90, while FirstService gaining $3.89, or 2.1%, to $192.84.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported its raw material price index was up 5.7% last month, driven primarily by higher prices for crude energy products, while its industrial product price index rose 2.0% in January, mainly as a result of higher prices for lumber and other wood products, as well as energy and petroleum products.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 13.78 points, or 1.3%, to 1,018.50, for a loss on the week of 80 points, or 7.3%,

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups lost ground, with materials sliding 3.1%, gold down 2.9%, and energy staggering 1.3%.

The five gainers were led by consumer discretionary stocks, up 1.7%, information technology, better by 1%, and real-estate improving 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average swung wildly Friday to close near its session low as Wall Street struggled to shake off fears of rapidly rising rates.

The 30-stock index ended a volatile week, tumbling 469.64 points, or 1.5%, to 30,932.37,

The S&P 500 shied away 18.19 points to 3,811.15, as energy and financial stocks pulled back.

The NASDAQ Composite recovered from its recent slump, picking up 72.91 points to 13,192.34, as Big Tech names rebounded after a big selloff in the previous session amid surging bond yields. Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon each rose more than 1%.

All three major averages posted weekly losses as fears of higher interest rates and inflation deepened. The S&P 500 slid 2.5% this week for its second negative week in a row. The 30-stock Dow fell 1.8%, and the NASDAQ was the relative underperformer this week, losing 4.9%.

Despite the weakness of the past week, the equity benchmarks all finished February with modest gains. The S&P 500 marched ahead 2.6%, and the Dow climbed 3.2%, the two indexes posting their third positive month in four. The tech-heavy benchmark gained 0.9% this month.

Energy gained 4.3% this week, bringing its February gains to more than 21%. Energy is the biggest winner by far amid expectations that consumers around the world will soon be driving and flying as they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Financials also jumped 11.4% this month, benefiting from rising interest rates.

The weakness elsewhere came even after the personal consumption expenditures price index that the Federal Reserve watches indicated subdued inflation in January. The PCE index rose 0.3% for the month, slightly ahead of the 0.2% expectation but was up just 1.5% year over year, matching Dow Jones estimates.

Economists and investment managers say the bond market is reacting to positive economics as vaccines are rolled out and Gross Domestic Product forecasts improve, which should benefit corporate profits. But the move could also signal faster-than-expected inflation ahead.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys were higher, weighing down yields to 1.41% from Friday’s 1.50%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices ducked $1.86 to $61.67 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices plunged $45.30 to $1,730.10