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TSX Inches Up by End

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Stocks in Canada’s largest centre let earlier gains slip through their collective fingers by the closing bell on Wednesday, but still fended off the breakeven point, as beaten-down technology stocks rose. This, while the Bank of Canada held interest rates steady but flagged hikes later this year as it seeks to curb inflation.

The S&P/TSX Composite managed to hold onto gains of 4.91 points, to finish the session Wednesday at 20,595.89.

The Canadian dollar faltered 0.35 cents at 78.90 cents U.S.

Gold sagged, as Equinox was bruised 75 cents, or 9%, to $7.57, while Novagold removed 38 cents, or 4.4%, to $8.23.

In other resource stocks, Silvercorp Metals ducked 19 cents, or 4.3%, to $4.25, while Endeavour Silver dropped 28 cents, or 5.5%, to $4.82.

Health-care stocks faded, as Aurora Cannabis dipped 21 cents, or 3.9%, to $5.12, while Tilray lost 22 cents, or 3%, to $7.02.

Consumer discretionary stocks displayed the most growth on the day, with Linamar peppier by $1.85, or 2.8%, to $68.04, while Magna International strengthened $2.97, or 3%, to $101.41.

In consumer staples, Empire Company acquired 87 cents, or 2.3%, to $38.47, while Loblaw Companies jumped $2.09, or 2.2%, to $95.95.

Tech stocks were still in the green, with HUT 8 Mining gathering 39 cents, or 5.6%, to $7.31, while Converge Technology Solutions gained 28 cents, or 3.2%, to $8.98.

On the economic calendar, the Bank of Canada today held its target for the overnight rate at the effective lower bound of 0.25%, with the Bank Rate at 0.5% and the deposit rate at 0.25%. A number of analysts were expecting the central bank to raise rates a quarter-percentage point.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange shaved off 0.92 points to 846.29.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups remained higher, with consumer discretionary stocks gaining 1%, consumer staples improving 0.5%, and information technology advancing 0.3%.

The five laggards were weighed most by gold, down 2.7%, health-care, sliding 1.7%, and materials, skidding 1.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell in volatile trading Wednesday, after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested the central bank has plenty of room to raise interest rates before it would harm the economy.

The 30-stock index forfeited earlier gains and sagged 129.64 points to 34,168.09. The Dow was up more than 500 points at one point, but rolled over after the Fed’s update.

The S&P 500 dawdled 6.52 points to 4,349.93.

The NASDAQ stayed just ahead of breakeven by 2.82 points to 13,542.12.

Stocks came off their highs and Treasury yields surged after Powell said at a press conference there was “quite a bit of room” to raise interest rates before it would hurt the labor market. Powell also said prices could

All three major indexes are decidedly negative in January. The NASDAQ is in correction territory, down more than 16% from its intraday high and off 13% for the month. The S&P 500 is down more than 8% to start the year and nearly 10% off its high.

Meanwhile, investors digested a strong quarterly report from Microsoft and other corporate earnings results.

Shares of Microsoft rose 2.9% after the company issued better-than-expected quarterly revenue guidance. The report boosted the major indexes and the tech sector earlier in the session before the Fed update.

On the downside, Boeing fell 4.9% after the aircraft maker reported positive cash flow for the first time since 2019, but it took a $3.5 billion pre-tax charge on its 787 Dreamliner program.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys were sharply lower, raising yields to 1.87% from Tuesday’s 1.78%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $1.48 to $87.09 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices tumbled $36.00 to $1,816.50 U.S. an ounce.

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