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TSX Finishes on Minus Side Tuesday



Equity markets in Canada struggled Tuesday, weighed down mostly by utility and gold stocks.

The TSX Composite came off its lows of the afternoon, but still lost 97.33 points to conclude Tuesday at 21,642.87.

The Canadian dollar dipped 0.17 cents at 72.36 cents U.S.

Utilities leaned heaviest on the negative side, with Boralex faltering 94 cents, or 3.4%, to $26.40, while Canadian Utilities fell 49 cents, or 1.6%, to $29.62.

Among gold stocks, Barrick Gold tumbled $1.19, or 5%, to $22.78, after the miner reported lower-than-expected preliminary gold production for the first quarter, hurt by planned maintenance at its mines.

Financials also suffered blows, as Scotiabank lost $1.39, or 2.1%, to $64.08, while Laurentian Bank fell 41 cents, or 1.6%, to $25.49.

Techs gained on the day, as Descartes jumped $5.33, or 4.4%, to $125.70, while Dye & Durham hiked 55 cents, or 3.7%, to $15.51.

In the energy sector, MEG Energy darted 79 cents, or 2.5%, higher to $31.98, while Suncor Energy jumped 67 cents, or 1.3%, to $51.92.

In health-care, Tilray popped eight cents, or 3.2%, to $2.55, while Bausch Health Companies rocketed 18 cents, or 1.5%, $12.07.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada said the Consumer Price Index rose 2.9% on a year-over-year basis in March, up from a 2.8% gain in February. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.3% in March.

As well, housing starts totaled 242,200 in March, compared to 260,000 in the prior-year month.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 4.1 points to 572.57.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the red Tuesday, with utilities falling 1%, gold sliding 0.8%, and financials off 0.7%.

The four gainers were led by information technology, chugging 1.2%, energy, ahead 0.9%, and health-care, better by 0.7%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 slipped on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said interest rates may need to stay elevated.

The Dow Jones Industrials recovered 63.66 points to 37,798.77, helped by UnitedHealth shares. The 30-stock blue-chip index snapped a six-day run of losses. With Tuesday’s bounce on the Dow, the index is on track to snap a sixth-day losing streak, its longest negative streak since June.

The much-broader index fell back 10.49 points to 5,051.33.

The NASDAQ sank 19.77 points to 15,865.25.

Stocks were choppy in afternoon trading after Powell said that the current state of economic policy should remain in place amid sticky prices.

However, the Dow was buoyed by UnitedHealth’s rally of more than 5% on the back of better-than-expected revenue for the first quarter.

That outweighed fellow Dow member Johnson & Johnson, which fell nearly 2% on the heels of mixed quarterly results.

Morgan Stanley advanced more than 2% after beating analysts’ consensus forecasts on both lines. Bank of America tumbled more than 3% after announcing profit and revenue fell.

America’s largest companies have given Wall Street reason for optimism in the early innings of the new corporate earnings season. Of the less than 10% of S&P 500-listed firms that have reported financials, nearly 4 of every 5 have exceeded Wall Street consensus estimates.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury fell, raising yields to 4.66% from Monday’s 4.62%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices forfeited five cents to $85.36 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dumped $23.30, to $2,406.30 U.S. an ounce.



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