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Toronto Market Falls Ahead of U.S. Fed Decision


Canada’s main stock index touched its lowest in nearly a week amid a broad sell-off, as investors remained cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision later in the day.

The TSX Composite decreased 43.31 points to pause at noon at 21,671.23.

The Canadian dollar improved 0.12 cents at 72.70 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks were pointed sharply downward, with Tilray dropping 65 cents, or 19%, to $2.77, after Tuesday’s sharp rally.

In corporate news, shares of uranium miners like Energy Fuels jumped 47 cents, or 6.6%, to $7.60, and Cameco Corp climbed $1.78, or 2.8%, to $64.59, after the U.S. Senate approved a bill to ban Russian uranium.

On the economic calendar, the Markit Canada Manufacturing PMI registered 49.4 in April, down from 49.8 in March.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange nicked up 0.64 points to 580.16.

The 12 subgroups were evenly split between gainers and losers, health-care weighing on the latter group, down 4.6%, while energy sputtered 2%, and consumer discretionary stocks faltered 0.9%.

The half-dozen gainers were led by gold, up 0.7%, utilities, better by 0.6%, and communications, up 0.5^.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 fell Wednesday as investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s rate policy decision.

The Dow Jones Industrials surged 104.29 points kick off Wednesday at 37,920.21.

The much broader index docked 18.54 points to 5,017.15.

The NASDAQ slid 83.25 points to 15,576.06.

Amazon advanced about 2% following better-than-expected earnings and revenue in the first quarter, while Starbucks tumbled 17% after the coffee giant slashed its outlook following disappointing same-store sales. CVS Health tanked more than 17% after posting disappointing earnings and cutting its profit guidance, and headed for its worst day since November 2009.

Stocks tied to artificial intelligence struggled during Wednesday’s trading session. Advanced Micro Devices tumbled 10% after issuing an in-line current-quarter revenue forecast, while Super Micro Computer slid 16% on light revenue. Leading AI chipmaker Nvidia sank more than 5% in sympathy, while Broadcom and Marvell Technology declined 3% each.

Traders are now looking toward the Fed’s interest rate decision Wednesday afternoon. The central bank is widely expected to hold interest rates steady, according to fed funds futures pricing data. Wall Street will be looking for clues from Fed Chair Jerome Powell on what needs to happen before rates can come down.

Several notable earnings reports are also scheduled for release after the bell Wednesday, including Qualcomm and DoorDash.

Investors gained another hint into the state of the labor market ahead of Friday’s April jobs report. ADP’s private employment data showed more workers added than expected last month.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury sank, raising yields back to Tuesday’s 4.66%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices fell $2.80 to $79.13 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices recovered $14.60 to $2,317.50.



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