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TSX Stocks End Lower

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Stocks on Bay St closed lower Wednesday dragged lower by consumer discretionary stocks while shares ...

Stocks on Bay St closed lower Wednesday dragged lower by consumer discretionary stocks while shares of Corus Entertainment took a hit after it said first-quarter results fell short of expectations.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index was off 71.29 points Wednesday to 16,247.95.

Corus Entertainment Inc. says its first-quarter results fell short of expectations as it was hurt by a weak television advertising market. Chief executive Doug Murphy says the weakness more than offset gains in other parts of its business.

The company reported a first-quarter profit attributable to shareholders of $77.7-million, or 38 cents per diluted share, for the quarter ended Nov. 30, up from $71.1-million or 36 cents per share a year ago. Shares were down over 16.94 percent.

On the economic front -- The value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities declined 7.7% in November to $7.7 billion, the first decrease in three months according to data from Statistics Canada.

The Canadian dollar rose 0.042 cents to 79.74 cents U.S.

Gold futures climbed $5.60, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,319.30 per ounce.

Oil came off its highs Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that domestic crude supplies fell by 4.9 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 5, wider than the declines expected by analysts. February West Texas Intermediate crude tacked on 61 cents, or 1%, to settle at $63.57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange was off 13.78 points to 910.84.

Three of the TSX subgroups traded positive Wednesday -- with base metal issues up 1.84%, gold stocks ahead by 1.15% and material issues up 0.73%.

On the downside -- consumer discretionary were off 1.41%, while industrial issues backtracked 1.26% and health-care stocks shed 1.25%.

Decliners on the TSX outnumbered advancers 827 to 790 with 259 issues unchanged.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched their first decline in 2018 as investors kept a close eye on U.S. bonds following an accelerated rise in the yield on the 10-year Treasury note which was prompted by a report that China is considering halting purchases of U.S. debt.

The S&P 500 index lost 3.06 points, or 0.1%, to 2,748.23, after scoring its highest number of records in a new year since 1964. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 10.01 points, or 0.1%, to 7,153.57 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 16.67 points to 25,369.13.

Bloomberg News reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter, that officials in Beijing have recommended the Chinese government lowers — or even stops — its buying of U.S. sovereign debt.

The report also notes that Chinese officials think U.S. debt is becoming less attractive compared to other assets, adding that trade tensions between the two countries could provide a reason to slow down or halt the purchases.

In corporate news -- Shares of Eastman Kodak Co. soared 57%, building on a 119% surge from Tuesday when the image-technology company said it is launching a cryptocurrency and would begin a “major blockchain initiative.”

In the latest economic data, cost of goods imported into the U.S. rose slightly in December and finished the year with a 3% increase — the biggest gain in six years.

The 10-year Treasury bond yields traded at 2.55%, reflecting a growing chorus in the financial community that a "bear market" in bonds may have begun. U.S. 2-year Treasury yields also rose to a financial crisis peak of 1.981%.