Canada’s main stock index took a breather on Thursday after hitting record highs in the previous session, as weakness in commodity-related stocks were offset by gains in health-care stocks.
The TSX Composite Index dropped 432.87 points to greet noon hour Thursday at 20,544.45
The Canadian dollar slipped 0.33 cents to 79.10 cents U.S.
Canfor Corporation lost 62 cents, or 2.3%, while Interfor docked 17 cents to $25.58.
First Majestic Silver gained 15 cents, or 1%, to $15.66,, while Dye & Durham sagged $1.04, or 2.2%, to $46.05.
On the economic schedule, Statistics Canada says There were 214,800 (or 1.3%) more employees receiving pay or benefits from their employer in June, the strongest monthly growth since March.
The TSX Venture Exchange ditched 6.32 points to 878.42.
Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower midday, with consumer discretionary stocks down 0.8%, health-care off 0.7%, and information technology sliding 0.5%.
The four gainers were led by gold, brighter 0.4%, industrials, up 0.3%, and communications, up 0.1%.
The S&P 500 fell from a record on Thursday as investors await more details on the Federal Reserve’s plan to pull back on monetary stimulus from the central bank’s annual symposium on Friday.
Traders were also observing new developments in Afghanistan, which added to the risk-off sentiment. There was an explosion outside of the Kabul airport on Thursday, according to the Pentagon. Three U.S. troops were injured in what appeared to be a suicide bomb, NBC News reported.
The Dow Jones Industrials faded into the red 67.88 points to stop for lunch Thursday at 35,339.70
The S&P 500 deducted 16.6 points from Wednesday’s all-time high to 4,479.59.
The NASDAQ Composite took from Wednesday’s record by 53.01 points to 14,988.85.
Salesforce is leading the Dow, with shares 5% higher on fiscal second-quarter earnings and forward guidance that exceeded analysts’ estimates. Another cloud company, NetApp, added more than 4.5%.
Zoom Video shares jumped more than 3.8% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock and predicted 18% upside.
Mixed economic data did little to change the sour mood. Weekly initial jobless claims came in at 353,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday, a slight increase from the prior week’s 349,000 and more than economists expected.
Economic growth totaled 6.6% in the second quarter, according to the Commerce Department’s second reading released on Thursday. That was a slight revision upward from the 6.5% annual increase previously reported, but slightly lower than the Dow Jones estimate of 6.7%.
The highly anticipated Jackson Hole symposium from the Fed will be held virtually this year on Friday, with many central bank speakers making remarks to the media beginning Thursday. At the event, central bankers could provide updates on their plan around tapering the
Fed’s monthly bond purchases.
Prices for 10-Year Treasurys dipped, pulling up yields to 1.35% from Wednesday’s 1.34%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices docked 77 cents to $67.59 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices recovered $5.60 to $1,796.60 U.S. an ounce.
Markets Skid from All-time Highs