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Stocks Burst Through Breakeven to End Long Week

Markets battled their way out of the negative side of things Friday, finally winning the battle as the closing bell sounded, mostly a credit to utilities and health-care stocks.

The TSX squeezed higher 2.01 to close Friday at 20,419.62. On the week, though, the index lost 122 points, or 0.6%.

The Canadian dollar erased 0.29 cents to 73.78 cents U.S.

Utilities proved the star of the session, with Brookfield Infrastructure Partners hearing the loudest applause, up $1.11, or 2.3%, to $48.57, while Superior Plus taking on 24 cents, or 2.4%, to $10.39.

Health-care also did well, with Sienna Senior Living shares acquiring 52 cents, or 4.7% to $11.78, while Chartwell Retirement Residences gaining 16 cents, or 1.7%, to $9.60.

In industrials, Brookfield Business Partners climbed 94 cents, or 4.1%, to $23.46, while Boyd Group Services charged up $4.10, or 1.7%, to $244..22.

Techs did not fare so well, though, with Converge Tech Solutions hammered 21 cents, or 6.3%, to $3.14, while Bitfarms backpedaled seven cents or 5.1%, to $1.31.

In communications, Quebecor lost 42 cents, or 1.2%, to $33.49, while BCE gave back 14 cents to $64.15.

In financials, CI Financial dipped $2.65, or 17.2%, to $12.75, while Nuvei handed back $2.02, or 4.3%, to $46.95.

Tech stocks proved the biggest burden on the market Friday, with

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The TSX Venture Exchange inched ahead 0.25 points to 616.90. Over the last five trading days, the index was in the green 2.44 points, or 0.4%.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups had recovered momentum by the final bell, as utilities and health-care each captured 1%, while industrials jumped 0.7%.

The five laggards were weighed most by information technology issues, down 1.2%, while communication and financial stocks each settled 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

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The S&P 500 fell Friday as concerns around the U.S. economy and regional banks dampened investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average came off their lows of the afternoon, but still finished 8.89 points below breakeven to 33,300.62.

The much-broader index lost 6.5 points to 4,124.12.

The NASDAQ Composite ditched 43.76 points to 12,294.74.

The S&P 500 and Dow are headed for their second negative week in a row. The S&P down 0.3%, while the Dow has faded 1.1%.
The tech-heavy NASDAQ managed to gain 49 points, or 0.4%, on the week.

Western Alliance slipped 0.4%, while PacWest fell 1.5%. On Thursday, regional banks dropped after PacWest said its deposits fell sharply last week.

A preliminary reading on the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index showed a decline to 57.7 in May. Economists polled by the Dow Jones are expecting a May reading of 63.0, which would be lower than the level of 63.5 in the previous reading. The survey also showed the outlook for inflation over the next five years climbed to 3.2%, tying the highest clip since June 2008.

Import prices were 0.4% month-over-month in April, marking the first rise so far in 2023. Economists polled by Dow Jones were expecting a 0.3% rise last month, compared to the decline of 0.6% the prior month.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury withered, hoisting yields to 3.46% from Thursday’s 3.38%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices declined 72 cents to $70.30 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gave back three dollars to $2,017.50 U.S. an ounce.