A sign board in Toronto displays the TSX close on Monday March 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

North American stock markets fall from Friday records in broad-based decrease

North American stock markets fall from Friday records in broad-based decrease

TORONTO — North American stock markets fell from Friday’s record highs in a broad-based decrease amid virus and political uncertainties.

With a lack of news to drive activity, movement was mainly due to elevated political anxiety after last week’s riots in Washington, D.C., said Craig Fehr, investment strategist at Edward Jones, with additional concerns about COVID-19 vaccine distribution and expectations of additional fiscal stimulus.

“You’re just seeing markets react a little bit more to the fact that equities are coming off record highs last week and even strong markets with an optimistic outlook are going to take breathers periodically,” he said in an interview.

“I would look at today as just a day where markets are taking a pause.”

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 107.62 points to 17,934.45 after Friday’s record close.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 89.28 points at 31,008.69. The S&P 500 index was down 25.07 points at 3,799.61, while the Nasdaq composite was down 165.55 points at 13,036.43.

Health care was the lone TSX sector to climb, gaining 3.4 per cent led by CRONOS Group Inc., which rose nine per cent.

Ten of the 11 major sectors fell, led by materials, industrials, and technology.

The sector which includes miners, forestry and fertilizer companies, lost 1.7 per cent on mixed movement of metals. Shares of First Quantum Minerals Ltd. decreased six per cent.

The February gold contract was up US$15.40 at US$1,850.80 an ounce and the March copper contract was down 10.90 cents at US$3.56 a pound.

Industrials lost 1.1 per cent with Canadian Pacific Railway down 2.8 per cent and Air Canada off two per cent.

The U.S. technology sector faced some weakness as large tech names including social media firms suffered backlashes after President Donald Trump’s accounts were shut down by Twitter and Facebook.

In Canada, technology was down one per cent with Docebo Inc. dropping 8.4 per cent.

Energy was also lower despite a slight increase in crude oil prices amid ongoing worries about global demand because of the coronavirus pandemic. Whitecap Resources Inc. dropped 2.4 per cent, followed by MEG Energy Corp at 1.8 per cent.

“There is an expectation for a pretty robust and sustained global rebound but as we advance the demand story is still going to remain a key driver of crude oil prices,” said Fehr.

The February crude oil contract was up one cent US at US$52.25 per barrel and the February natural gas contract was up 4.7 cents at US$2.75 per mmBTU.

The Canadian dollar traded for 78.20 cents US compared with 78.71 cents US on Friday.

Fehr believes the pace of vaccinations and prospects of more severe lockdowns will influence market movements this week ahead of U.S. banks reporting fourth-quarter earnings beginning on Friday.

Fehr expects the fourth quarter of 2020 and first quarter of 2021 will bear the brunt of lockdowns.

“Today notwithstanding, the market has been willing to look past some of the rough patches in the economic that have been driven by these lockdowns to the expectation that a post-vaccine [recovery] will be rather robust.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 11, 2021.


Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media in Edmonton on measures taken to help with COVID-19 on Friday, March 20, 2020. Political analysts say Kenney must rethink his traditional “fight back” approach and start building bridges to reconcile environmental concerns with oil and gas development. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Political scientists say Kenney must rethink pugilistic approach on oil, environment

Keystone XL pipeline expansion would have taken more oil from Alberta through the United States to refineries and ports

An incomplete secondary wall stands alongside the previous version near where the border separating Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego meets the Pacific Ocean Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Tijuana, Mexico. In the days before Joe Biden became president, construction crews worked quickly to finish Donald Trump’s wall at an iconic cross-border park overlooking the Pacific Ocean that then-first lady Pat Nixon inaugurated in 1971 as symbol of international friendship. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Biden halts border wall building after Trump’s final surge

Pause order leaves billions of dollars of work unfinished but still under contract

Crimson Villas, a new lodge and apartment complex expected to be complete this spring, is named after Red Deer’s official flower. (Contributed photo)
New lodge, apartment complex named after Red Deer’s official flower

A new lodge and apartment building in Red Deer will be named… Continue reading

Former Alberta Premier Rachel Notley shakes hands with Joel Ward, former Red Deer College President and CEO, as Notley announces that the college is on the path to grant degrees. Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan says university status is not a necessary condition for offering degrees. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Future of Red Deer University increasingly uncertain

MLA’s college update says RDC more like SAIT and NAIT than a university

Jacqueline Donahue of Hazleton, right, buys la Mega Millions lottery ticket at the Anthracite Newsstand on Public Square, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (Mark Moran/The Citizens’ Voice via AP)
Nearly $1B Mega Millions prize due to long odds, slow sales

Only the third time a lottery jackpot has grown so large

David Shoemaker, chief executive officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee, speaks during the Olympic Partnership kick off event at the Sobey’s office in Mississauga, Ont. on Monday, October 7, 2019. Shoemaker says the IOC remains committed to staging the Summer Games in Tokyo this summer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
Canadian Olympic boss says IOC plans to go ahead with Tokyo Games this summer

IOC calls cancellation decision “categorically untrue”

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2011 file photo, Dustin Diamond attends the SYFY premiere of “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid” at The Ziegfeld Theater in New York. Diamond is undergoing chemotherapy treatments after being diagnosed with cancer, according to his representative. Diamond, best known for playing Screech on the hit ’90s sitcom, was hospitalized earlier this month in Florida. Last week, his team disclosed he did have cancer. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File)
Dustin Diamond undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer

Diamond hospitalized earlier this month in Florida

Winnipeg Jets' Mark Scheifele, left, and Kyle Connor, right, congratulate Blake Wheeler on his goal during second period NHL action against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, January 21, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Four different Jets score as Winnipeg beats the Ottawa Senators 4-1

Four different Jets score as Winnipeg beats the Ottawa Senators 4-1

Canes’ season paused, while Caps play on without 4 regulars

Canes’ season paused, while Caps play on without 4 regulars

Most Read