Equity markets in Canada’s largest centre wavered between positive and negative early Tuesday, with strength in the heavyweight energy sector offseting weakness among mining stocks.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index gave back 9.37 points to start a short week at 15,443.27
The Canadian dollar dropped 0.31 cents to 79.25 cents U.S.
Markets on both sides of the border took Monday off, the U.S. for Presidents Day, Canada for Family Day
The energy group climbed Crew Energy, up five cents, or nearly 3%, to $1.74, and Birchcliff Energy, rising 18 cents, or 5.9%, to $3.25.
The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Capital Power Corp, which rose $1.12, or 4.9%, to $23.81, while the largest decliner was Uni-Select Inc, down $3.91, or 15%, to $22.03.
Among the most active Canadian stocks by volume were Aurora Cannabis, up 2.1% to $10.34; Bombardier, unchanged at $3.73 and Canopy Growth Co, up 3.8% to $27.51.
Copper prices declined 0.2% to $7,104 U.S. a tonne.
Desjardins cut the price target on Semafo Inc. to $5.00 from $5.50. Semafo declined seven cents, or 2%, in price to $3.38.
On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported that wholesale trade Wholesale sales declined 0.5% to $63.0 billion in December, the first decrease in three months.
Lower sales were recorded in five of seven sub-sectors, representing 65% of total wholesale sales.
The TSX Venture Exchange nicked up 1.11 points to 831.28
Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups stubbed their toes on their way out of the gate, with gold falling 0.8%, consumer staples, off 0.7%, and real-estate, sliding 0.4%.
The five gainers were led by health-care, ahead 1.1%, information technology, better by 0.8%, and energy, surging 0.6%.
Stocks opened lower on Tuesday as U.S. Treasury yields climbed back towards multi-year highs.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell back 144.29 points to 25,075.09, with Wal-Mart as the worst-performing stock in the index.
The S&P 500 handed back 6.16 points to 2,726.06, with telecommunications as the biggest laggard.
The NASDAQ gained, however, 23.58 points to 7,263.05
In earnings, Wal-Mart reported weaker-than-expected earnings, pushing the stock down by 7%. Home Depot released quarterly results that surpassed analyst expectations, lifting the Dow component by 2%.
Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dipped, raising yields to 2.9% from Friday’s 2.87%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gained seven cents a barrel to $61.75 U.S.
Gold prices slid $13.90 to $1,342.40 U.S. an ounce.