A man works in the broadcast centre at the TMX Group Ltd. in Toronto, on May 9, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

North American stock markets partially rebound from biggest losses in three months

North American stock markets partially rebound from biggest losses in three months

TORONTO — North American stock markets had their best day in nearly three months to partially recover from steep losses on Wednesday.

“It’s been a roller-coaster, kind of mirror image,” said Angelo Kourkafas, investment strategist at Edward Jones.

“But we don’t think these wild swings that we’ve seen, especially in certain segments of the market, are really related to the fundamentals or investors shouldn’t read too much into these moves.”

He said moves by retail investors from certain trading platforms that targeted short-sellers were responsible for massive gains in shares of BlackBerry Ltd. and U.S.-based GameStop, the owner of EB Games.

But that reversed on Thursday, causing these company stocks to fall, with BlackBerry plunging 40 per cent.

Kourkafas called it a very narrow slice of the market that investors shouldn’t use to extrapolate for the market as a whole.

“It’s a reminder that fundamentals always prevail at the end,” he said in an interview, adding that the economy is still poised to accelerate later this year as vaccines offer the possibility of a gradual return to normal.

Kourkafas said it’s normal to see ups and down and that some caution is warranted after the strong recovery in equities since the March lows.

“We’ve seen this uninterrupted 60-plus per cent rally in stocks, so I think it would be healthy for the market to go through a period of consolidation so that the improving economy and earnings fundamentals can catch up with prices.”

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 232.77 points or 1.3 per cent to 17,657.20. It lost 354.98 points on Wednesday to wipe out all the gains in 2021.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 300.19 points at 30,603.36. The S&P 500 index was up 36.61 points at 3,787.38, while the Nasdaq composite was up 66.56 points at 13,337.16.

U.S. markets were also helped by a reduction in jobless claims last week. Some 847,000 people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time, down from 914,000 a week earlier.

However, U.S. GDP numbers came in a little weaker than expected, increasing four per cent on an annualized basis in the fourth quarter as consumers grew more cautious about spending amid ongoing COVID-19 infections and deaths.

A broad-based rally on the TSX saw eight of 11 sectors increase, led by health care, materials, industrials, consumer discretionary and financials.

Materials gained 3.4 per cent due to a rotation into cyclical sectors and an unusual gain by silver, whose futures rose 4.9 per cent to US$26.63.

Kourkafas pointed to some reports that a lot of the action in the options market came from retail traders that wreaked havoc elsewhere.

First Majestic Silver Corp. shares climbed 21.6 per cent, while Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. was up 13.9 per cent and Pan American Silver Corp. rose 11.3 per cent.

Silver gains outpaced other metals. The April gold contract was up US$7.70 at US$1,841.20 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 2.05 cents at US$3.58 a pound.

Magna International Inc. helped consumer discretionary while Air Canada shares increased 5.5 per cent, in keeping with movements south of the border that saw American Airlines soar 17 per cent despite reporting a US$2.2-billion loss in the fourth quarter and US$8.9 billion for the year.

Financials increased 1.2 per cent following a steepening of the yield curve with the 10-year U.S. Treasury rising to 1.05 per cent.

The cyclical rotation helped the energy sector gain 0.69 per cent despite lower crude oil prices. Husky Energy Inc. was up 5.1 per cent.

The March crude oil contract was down 51 cents at US$52.34 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was down 3.8 cents at US$2.66 per mmBTU.

BlackBerry’s big share loss pushed technology lower, while telecommunications fell with Rogers Communications Inc. dropping five per cent after reporting weaker quarterly results.

The Canadian dollar traded for 78.06 cents US compared with 78.28 cents US on Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 28, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:FR, TSX:FVI, TSX:PAAS, TSX:AC, TSX:RCI.B, TSX:BB, TSX:HSE, TSX:MG, TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

Business

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

Just Posted

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

March will be dramatically warmer through the prairies

A worker carrying a disinfectant sprayer walks past a WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft, after cleaning another plane at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
WestJet to lay off undisclosed number of pilots amid labour negotiations

Layoff notices to go out ahead of the expiration of a memorandum of agreement

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

Canada has ordered 24 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend Sunday Service, in Abbotsford, B.C., Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. A legal advocacy group challenging British Columbia’s COVID-19 restrictions on worship services and public protests is scheduled to be in court today arguing for the church and others that COVID-19 restrictions violate their charter rights. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Churches in court to challenge British Columbia’s COVID-19 health orders

Calgary-based organization says it represents over a dozen individuals and faith communities in the province

A memorial for those killed and injured in a deadly crash involving the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team bus is visible at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Sask., on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘More pain:’ Some Broncos families angry over request in court to delay lawsuit

Eleven lawsuits were filed after the crash on April 6, 2018

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Pablo Rodriguez rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Gummed-up bills in House of Commons: harbinger of a federal election?

OTTAWA — All federal party leaders maintain they don’t want an election… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

Most Read