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

S&P/TSX composite drifts down; U.S. markets close lower after Monday’s records

S&P/TSX composite drifts down; U.S. markets close lower after Monday’s records

TORONTO — Amid light volumes, Canada’s main stock index closed lower on Tuesday, its first day of trading after the holiday weekend, while U.S. indexes fell back from record highs set on Monday.

“At this point, given the tumultuous year that we’ve had and the extreme volatility that we ‘ve seen, it seems like investors are perfectly happy to just kind of take a few days off and not do much,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

“It’s not unusual in the week between Christmas and New Year’s for trading to be fairly light and markets not to do very much. There’s not a lot of news out today.”

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 68.30 points from its record close of 30,335.67 on Monday. Similarly, the S&P 500 index was down 8.32 points at 3,727.04, while the Nasdaq composite was down 49.20 points at 12,850.22.

U.S. stocks rallied Monday after President Donald Trump signed into law the US$900 billion coronavirus economic relief package. But on Tuesday, markets fell as investors shifted money away from technology companies, industrial and financial stocks.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index closed down 80.45 points at 17,543.43, about 500 points ahead of where it was last year at this time but well short of its record high close of 17,944.10 set on Feb. 20, 2020.

“In a lot of ways, it’s related to composition and currency more than the nature of the underlying economies,” said Cieszynski, comparing markets in the two countries.

“The Canadian dollar has been increasing over the last few months, which does put a bit of a drag on Canada relative to the U.S.,” he said.

Canada’s higher weighting in banks and commodities means the index reflects those sectors’ slower recovery from the slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, while U.S. markets have been fuelled by more technology and communications companies, he added.

The Canadian dollar jumped to 78.09 cents US compared with 77.91 cents US on Dec. 24.

The shallow sell-off in Toronto was broad-based with only five of 11 sectors closing higher and none more than 0.5 per cent higher.

The steepest declines were in health care, down 3.4 per cent, as marijuana producers Aurora Cannabis Inc. and Canopy Growth Corp. both fell by almost six per cent.

In information technology, Sierra Wireless fell $1.20 or 6.3 per cent to $17.75.

The utilities sector had the strongest gains on the day, led by TransAlta Renewables Inc., up $1.25 or 6.02 per cent, to $22.00.

The energy sector finished slightly lower despite a 38 cent US increase in the February crude contract to US$48.00 per barrel and a rise in the February natural gas contract of 12 cents US to US$2.44 per mmBTU.

Materials sector stocks were little changed as the February gold contract was up $2.50 at US$1,882.90 an ounce and the March copper contract was down almost two cents at US$3.56 a pound.

— By Dan Healing in Calgary

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 29, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X, TSX:ACB, TSX:WEED, TSX:RNW)

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version had a typo in the byline

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

Just Posted

Police have charged two men after they allegedly tried to break into the Bentley post office with a semi. (Photo courtesy of RCMP)
Red Deer men charged in Bentley post office destruction

Police have charged a pair of Red Deer men after an attempted… Continue reading

Red Deer Fire Chief Ken McMullen remains concerned about “inconsistencies” in the province’s new way of dispatching local ambulances. (Advocate file photo).
A few glitches are already noticed in Red Deer’s new ambulance dispatch system

Local fire-medics need more data about ambulance arrival times

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the province still hopes to bring the hospitalization number down before relaxing restrictions. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
14 new deaths, 366 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta

Province nearing 100K COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Cervus Equipment is planning to set up a new location near Highways 2 and 42 in Red Deer County. Graphic contributed
Cervus Equipment eyeing new Red Deer County location

Farm equipment busy looking to set up near Highways 2 and 42

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

This undated photo provided by the Polk County Sheriff's Office, in Florida, shows Joshua Colon. On Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, officials said that Colon, who had been recently named “Paramedic of the Year,” helped a supervisor steal COVID-19 vaccines meant for first responders. (Polk County Sheriff's Office via AP)
‘Paramedic of the Year’ accused of helping to steal vaccine

‘Paramedic of the Year’ accused of helping to steal vaccine

FILE - In this July 31, 2019, file photo, migrants return to Mexico, using the Puerta Mexico bridge that crosses the Rio Grande river in Matamoros, Mexico, on the border with Brownsville, Texas. A federal judge on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, barred the U.S. government from enforcing a 100-day deportation moratorium that is a key immigration priority of President Joe Biden. U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a temporary restraining order sought by Texas, which sued on Friday against a Department of Homeland Security memo that instructed immigration agencies to pause most deportations. Tipton said the Biden administration had failed “to provide any concrete, reasonable justification for a 100-day pause on deportations.” (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel, File)
Judge bars Biden from enforcing 100-day deportation ban

Judge bars Biden from enforcing 100-day deportation ban

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2021, file photo, registered Nurse Shyun Lin, left, administers Alda Maxis, 70, the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site in the William Reid Apartments in the Brooklyn borough of New York. An increasing number of COVID-19 vaccination sites around the U.S. are canceling appointments because of vaccine shortages in a rollout so rife with confusion and unexplained bottlenecks. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool, File)
US boosting vaccine deliveries amid complaints of shortages

US boosting vaccine deliveries amid complaints of shortages

In this image from video, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the president pro tempore of the Senate, who is presiding over the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, swears in members of the Senate for the impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (Senate Television via AP)
GOP largely sides against holding Trump impeachment trial

GOP largely sides against holding Trump impeachment trial

People make their way through floodwaters in Beira Mozambique, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. The Mozambican port city of Beira breathed a sigh of relief as Cyclone Eloise caused less damage than feared as it passed through, but the danger of flooding remained in a region still recovering from a devastating cyclone two years ago. (AP Photo)
UN: 250,000 people affected by Cyclone Eloise in Mozambique

UN: 250,000 people affected by Cyclone Eloise in Mozambique

This image released by the Sundance Institute shows Rita Moreno in a scene from "Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It," an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. (Sundance Institute via AP)
With many hungry for content, Sundance market heats up

With many hungry for content, Sundance market heats up

FILE - Actor Danny Huston attends the National Board of Review awards gala in New York on Jan. 8, 2019. Growing up in Ireland, one of his favorite memories was when his father, director John Huston, would bring out the projector and they’d gather around to watch his films. “The Maltese Falcon” was always a highlight. Now the film is celebrating its 80th anniversary. It’s returning to theaters through Fathom Events for a limited engagement on Wednesday. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
‘The Maltese Falcon’ returns to theatres at ripe age of 80

‘The Maltese Falcon’ returns to theatres at ripe age of 80

This photo provided by Eli Lilly shows the drug bamlanivimab. On Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, the company said that the two-antibody combo of bamlanivimab and etesevimab reduced the risk of hospitalizations or death by 70% in newly diagnosed, non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients at high risk of serious illness because of age or other health conditions. (Eli Lilly via AP)
Studies extend hopes for antibody drugs against COVID-19

Studies extend hopes for antibody drugs against COVID-19

Most Read