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Small Rally Peters Out by Noon

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Hopes for a rally among Canadian stocks fizzled by midday Wednesday, with vital subgroups began losing steam, amid the threat of higher interest rates.

The S&P/TSX Composite faltered 47.95 points, to head into noon hour EST Wednesday to 21,226.62.

The Canadian dollar was down 0.10 cents to 79.91 cents U.S.

Health-care shares withered with Tilray down 34 cents, or 4.3%, to $7.57, while Well Health Technologies toppled 15 cents, or 3.7%, to $3.90.

Among consumer issues, Magna International caved $4.56, or 4.1%, to $106.45, while Martinrea International gave back 44 cents, or 3.8%, to $11.12.

Gold and other resources gained, however, as Equinox Gold captured 77 cents, or 9.1%, to $9.26, while Alamos Gold picked up 66 cents, or 7.9%, to $8.97.

First Majestic Silver jumped $1.28, or 9.7%, to $14.49, while Silvercrest Metals leaped $1.04, or 10.6%, to $10.82.

On the macroeconomic front, Statistics Canada reported that its consumer price index rose 4.8% on a year-over-year basis in December, up from a 4.7% gain in November.

On a monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.3% in December.

Moreover, wholesale sales grew for the fourth consecutive month, up 3.5% in November.

Elsewhere, British Columbia’s top health official said the westernmost province will allow gyms to open from Thursday, but other restrictions will stay in place until Feb. 16 as the health-care system continues to be impacted by COVID-19.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange regained 5.08 points to 895.94.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower midday, with health-care fading 1.8%, consumer discretionary stocks down 1.7%, and financials off 1.3%.

The four gainers were led by gold, up 4.7%, materials, improving 2.9%, and information technology, surpassing breakeven 0.6%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks were flat on Wednesday, despite several strong earnings reports, as investors remained cautious on equities amid elevated rates.

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The Dow Jones Industrials eased back 37.01 points to 35,331.46, despite a 4% jump in Procter & Gamble’s stock

The S&P 500 slid 7.51 points to 4,569.60,

The NASDAQ Composite shed earlier gains and dropped 66.36 points to 14,440.54, to close in correction territory, more than 10% off its record close in November.

Stocks declined despite a slew of strong corporate earnings results. Bank of America beat Wall Street estimates as it released pandemic-related loan loss reserves. Shares rebounded 2%, a day after sliding 3.4%. Other bank stocks, however, were in the red.

Morgan Stanley saw its stock rise 2% after the bank’s fourth-quarter profit topped estimates. It also experienced a 13% jump in equities trading revenue.

Procter & Gamble shares popped 4% after the consumer giant reported fiscal second-quarter earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street’s expectations. The company raised its outlook for sales growth.

UnitedHealth also rose 1.4% after beating on the top and bottom lines of its quarterly results.

Earnings season is picking up on Wall Street and so far the majority of companies have surpassed analyst expectations. Of the 44 S&P 500 companies that have reported quarterly results, nearly 73% have topped Wall Street’s expectations.

On the negative side, home builders also were broadly lower following after KeyBanc downgraded the group on concerns over looming interest rate hikes that will drive up borrowing costs. KB Home lost 1.7%, Lennar fell 1.6% and D.R. Horton fell 1.7%.

Shares of Sony tumbled 3.8% the day after Microsoft said it is buying video game publisher Activision Blizzard for nearly $69 billion. Sony’s PlayStation competes with Microsoft’s Xbox consoles. The drop in Sony’s stock comes after shares slid 7.2% on Tuesday.

Earnings season is picking up on Wall Street and so far the majority of companies have surpassed analyst expectations. Of the 44 S&P 500 companies that have reported quarterly results, nearly 73% have topped Wall Street’s expectations.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys gained strength, lowering yields to 1.84% from Tuesday’s 1.87%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices added $1.84 to $87.27 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices jumped $28.20 to $1,840.60 U.S. an ounce.


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