Stocks Negative by Close

Equities in Toronto struggled to overcome a downswing in the markets Wednesday, but fell just short by the close.

The S&P/TSX Composite faltered 69.41 points to end Wednesday at 21,205.16.

The Canadian dollar was down 0.03 cents to 79.97 cents U.S.

Health-care shares withered with Tilray down 39 cents, or 4.9%, to $7.52, while Well Health Technologies leaned lower 21 cents, or 5.2%, to $3.84.

Among consumer discretionary issues, Linamar fell $6.40, or 8%, to $73.94, while Martinrea International gave back 52 cents, or 4.5%, to $11.04.

In tech stocks, Converge Tech Solutions dipped 40 cents, or 4.4%, to $8.65, while Tecsys shed $1.65. or 3.9%, to $40.32.

Gold and other resources gained, however, as Alamos Gold picked up 83 cents, or 10%, to $9.14. Wesdome Gold advanced $1.15, or 10.5%, to $12.06.

First Majestic Silver jumped $1.61, or 12.2%, to $14.82, while Endeavour Silver leaped 57 cents, or 10.9%, to $5.81.

Utilities also made some progress, as Transalta Corp. tacked on 34 cents, or 2.6%, to $13.36, while Transalta Renewables gained 26 cents, or 1.6%, to $16.93.

On the macroeconomic front, Statistics Canada reported that its consumer price index rose 4.8% on a year-over-year basis in December, up from a 4.7% gain in November.

On a monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.3% in December.

Moreover, wholesale sales grew for the fourth consecutive month, up 3.5% in November.

Elsewhere, British Columbia’s top health official said the westernmost province will allow gyms to open from Thursday, but other restrictions will stay in place until Feb. 16 as the health-care system continues to be impacted by COVID-19.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regained 10.01 points, or 1.1%, to 900.87.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower, with health-care fading 2.8%, consumer discretionary stocks down 2%, and information technology off 1.8%.

The five gainers were led by gold, up 7.4%, materials, improving 4.4%, and utilities, better by 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

The NASDAQ Composite fell again on Wednesday, bringing its decline from its November high to more than 10% as investors continue to dump tech shares as interest rates spike to start the New Year.

The Dow Jones Industrials collapsed 339.82 points, or 1%, to 35,028.65, dragged down by a 3.1% decline in Caterpillar’s stock.

The S&P 500 slid 44.35 points, or 1%, to 4,532.76,

The NASDAQ Composite crumbled 166.64 points, or 1.2%, to 14,340.25. Wednesday’s losses brought the index 10.7% off its most recent record close in November 2021.

NASDAQ’s pullback from its November high has been lead by growth stocks whose valuations ballooned during the pandemic. Shares of Peloton are off more than 80% from their highs. Zoom Video has shed more than 70%. Moderna, DocuSign and Paypal are all down more than 40% from their highs.

Equities declined despite a slew of strong corporate earnings results. Bank of America beat Wall Street estimates as it released pandemic-related loan loss reserves. Shares rebounded 0.4%, a day after sliding 3.4%. Other bank stocks, however, were in the red.

Morgan Stanley saw its stock rise 1.8% after the bank’s fourth-quarter profit topped estimates. It also experienced a 13% jump in equities trading revenue.

Procter & Gamble shares popped 3.4% after the consumer giant reported fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street’s expectations. The company raised its outlook for sales growth.

UnitedHealth also rose slightly after beating on the top and bottom lines of its quarterly results.

On the negative side, home builders also were broadly lower following after KeyBanc downgraded the group on concerns over looming interest rate hikes that will drive up borrowing costs. KB Home lost 3.9%, Lennar fell 4.4% and D.R. Horton fell 3.3%.

Shares of Sony tumbled 5% the day after Microsoft said it is buying video game publisher Activision Blizzard for nearly $69 billion. Sony’s PlayStation competes with Microsoft’s Xbox consoles. The drop in Sony’s stock comes after shares slid 7.2% on Tuesday.

Earnings season is picking up on Wall Street and so far the majority of companies have surpassed analyst expectations. Of the 44 S&P 500 companies that have reported quarterly results, nearly 73% have topped Wall Street’s expectations.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys gained a bit of strength, lowering yields to 1.86% from Tuesday’s 1.87%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices added $1.10 to $86.53 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices jumped $29.80 to $1,842.20 U.S. an ounce.