Stocks Struggle to Surpass Breakeven

Equities in Toronto took some lumps throughout the day, but triumphed by Friday’s closing bell, as investors digest lacklustre employment numbers.

The TSX forged ahead 43.09 points to close out Friday and the week at 19,620.13. Still, the index sustained a weekly loss of 72 points, or 3.7%.

The Canadian dollar took on 0.4 cents to 77.30 cents U.S.

Energy stocks rumbled, as Enerplus gained $1.33, or 8.5%, to $16.96, while Paramount Resources hiked $1.60, or 6.1%, to $27.70.

In industrial issues, Bombardier leaped $2.33, or 9%, to $28.20, while Brookfield Business Partners jumped $1.84, or 6.3%, to $31.14.

Materials also fared well, with Ero Copper picking up $1.02, or 9.2%, to $12.14, while Lithium Americas up $2.09, or 6.3%, to $35.42.

Consumer staples led the way down, with Alimentation Couche-Tard sliding $1.36, or 2.3%, to $57.12, and Maple Leaf Foods trailing 50 cents, or 2.2%, to $21.83.

In tech shares, OTEX dipped $3.14, or 5.9%, to $50.40, while Alithya Group fell 13 cents, or 4.1%, to $3.02.

Gold also palled, with Iamgold skidding 23 cents, or 12% to $1.69, while Equinox Gold falling 39 cents, or 7.1%, to $5.14.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reports the economy shed 31,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate was steady at 4.9%.

Also Friday, the IVEY Purchasing Managers Index dwindled to 49.6 in July, way below June’s 62.2, and below the 56.4 figure for July 2021

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regained 4.09 points to 664.17, for a weekly gain of 18 points, or 2.8%.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower Friday, with consumer staples sagging 1.5%, information technology slipping 1.1%, and gold lower by 0.7%.

Energy led the four gaining subgroups, up 1.4%, while industrials and materials each improved 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks wavered Friday in a volatile trading session after the July jobs report was much better than expected, as investors assessed what a strong labor market would mean for the Federal Reserve’s rate tightening campaign.

The Dow Jones Industrials regained 76.65 points to 32,803.47. Even with Friday’s gains, however, it fell on the week.

The S&P 500 fell 6.75 points to 4,145.19.

The NASDAQ Composite dropped 63.02 points to 12,657.56. Still, both the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ ended the first week of August higher.

Losses were offset by bank stocks, which rose on hopes that interest rate hikes will continue at a solid clip. Energy stocks also gained, but technology companies slumped.

The labour market added 528,000 jobs in July, easily beating a Dow Jones estimate of a 258,000 increase. The unemployment rate ticked down to 3.5%, below the 3.6% estimate.

Wage growth also ticked up more than estimated, up 0.5% for the month and 5.2% higher than a year ago, signaling that high inflation is likely still a problem.

Major averages posted their best month since 2020 in July on the hope the Fed would slow the pace of its hikes. The S&P 500 added 9.1% last month. Friday’s losses pushed the index into the red for this week.

Treasury prices retreated, raising yields to 2.82% from Thursday’s 2.67%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell 13 cents to $88.41 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices demurred $16.50 to $1,790.40 U.S. an ounce.

Stocks Notch Weekly Gains on Jobs Report

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