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Recent Rally Cools Off to End August

Equities in Canada’s largest centre witnessed a rare event of late Thursday: a decline in stock indexes. After a string of wins, the TSX cooled off, weighed most by gold and bank stocks.

The TSX moved into the red 37.7 points by the closing bell to 20,292.62.

The Canadian dollar strengthened 0.13 cents to 74 cents U.S.

Among gold plays, Novagold fell 20 cents, or 3.4%, to $5.61, while Seabridge Gold swooned 21 cents, or 1.3%, to $15.86.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce fell $1.75, or 3.2%, to $53.57, after it missed analysts' estimates for quarterly profit. Elsewhere in financials, Laurentian Bank shed $1.35, or 3.5%, to $96.77.

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Real-estate issues also suffered, as H&R REIT units dipped 24 cents, or 2.3%, to $10.36, while Storagevault Inc. stepped back 10 cents, or 2.1%, to $4.57.

In the cannabis sector, Tilray Brands gathered 46 cents, or 12.5%, to $4.05.

Techs also fared well, as Shopify thundered $8.89, or 10.9%, to $90.09, after the company said Amazon.com would release an app in Shopify's app ecosystem that would give U.S.-based merchants access to Amazon's "Buy with Prime" option. Elsewhere in the sector, Celestica grabbed $1.13, or 3.8%, to $31.62.

In consumer discretionary stocks, Sleep Country awakened 66 cents, or 2.9%, to $24.66, while Canadian Tire hurtled $3.62 higher, or 2.3%, to $160.56.

From Statistics Canada, the number of employees receiving pay and benefits from their employer—measured as "payroll employees" in the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours—increased by 47,700 (+0.3%) in June.

The agency also says job vacancies remained on a downward trend, edging down by 8,900 (-1.2%) to 753,400 in June.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regained 1.53 points to 586.60.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups finished in negative territory Thursday, as gold lost 1.2%, financials were poorer by 0.9%, and real-estate 0.8% to the bad.

The four gainers were led by health-care, up 3%, while information technology was up 2.9%, and consumer discretionary stocks were better 0.4%.

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ON WALLSTREET

The NASDAQ registered a fifth consecutive winning day, but still suffered its worst monthly loss of 2023.

The 30-stock index changed direction and unloaded 168.33 points to end August at 34,721.91.

The S&P 500 index dropped 7.21 points to 4,507.66.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ surpassed breakeven 15.66 points to 14,034.97.

All three benchmarks are down more than 1% month to date, but have trended higher in recent days as traders signal a late August rally.

Salesforce mitigated some of the Dow’s losses. Shares advanced more than 3.2% after the software company announced fiscal second-quarter results and third-quarter guidance Wednesday that exceeded analysts’ expectations.

Traders on Thursday also pored over new U.S. inflation data. The core personal consumption expenditures index increased 0.2% month-over-month in July and 4.2% year over year, matching estimates from economists polled by Dow Jones. The core PCE is a closely watched inflation indicator by the Federal Reserve.

Investors will now turn their attention to non-farm payroll data due out Friday morning. Economists polled by Dow Jones forecast 170,000 additions. Traders are holding onto hope that the report will indicate that the economy is slowing meaningfully, and ultimately give the central bank reason to pause benchmark interest rate hikes.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury gained, lowering yields to 4.10% from Wednesday’s 4.12%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices climbed $1.92 to $83.55 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices slid $6.20 to $1,966.80 U.S. an ounce.