Big Losses for Stocks At Week’s End

Canada’s main stock index fell hard on Friday, including deep losses for financial and energy stocks after crude oil prices lurched near 11-year lows.

The S&P/TSX composite index plunged 226.64 points, or 1.7%, to close the day and a turbulent week at 12,789.95, its lowest level in two years. On the week, the index was down close to 4%

The Canadian dollar slid 0.6 cents to 72.80 cents U.S.

Energy-related companies dragged the benchmark down Friday, falling sharply Friday and reversing an earlier weekly gain. The group suffered worst weekly slide in a month.

Canadian Natural Resources was down 97 cents, or 3.2%, to $28.99, while Suncor Energy was off 45 cents, or 1.3% to $35.22.

Financials were also punished after Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the federal government would raise minimum down payments on some government-insured mortgages.

Mortgage-lenders Home Capital Group Inc. docked 88 cents, or 3.2%, to $26.83, and Canadian Western Bank fell 79 cents, or 3.4%, to $22.38, to its lowest level since September.

Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. dropped 19 cents, or 3.9%, to $4.67.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. sank $2.03, or 1.2%, to $169.77, before paring the losses after the railroad controlled by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said it is open to making a competing bid for Norfolk Southern Corp. The company had been the target of a $27-billion takeover effort by Canadian Pacific Railway.

Hudson’s Bay Co slumped $2.50, or 12.6%, to $17.40, after cutting its sales forecast for this year and next in an earnings report late on Thursday.

On the positive side, the maker of Ski-Doo snowmobiles and See-Doo watercraft, BRP Inc., advanced $1.92, or 9.5%, to $22.10, after reporting soaring profit helped by favourable exchange rates.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange retreated 2.19 points to 502.09.

All but one of the 13 TSX subgroups were lower on the day, as metals and mining moved lower 3.6%, energy settled 3.4%, and health-care tottered 2.6%.

The lone holdout against the negative tide was gold, up 1.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks closed out a volatile week with sharp losses Friday, as oil hit near-seven-year lows and news of another corporate merger weighed ahead of the Federal Reserve’s highly anticipated decision on rates next week.

The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 309.54 points, or 1.8%, to close out the week at 17,265.21. DuPont and Goldman Sachs were the greatest weights on the index as nearly all member stocks declined.

The S&P 500 stumbled 41.44 points, or 2%, to 2,010.79, as energy lost more than 3% to lead all sectors lower.

The NASDAQ index deducted 111.71 points, or 2.2%, to 4,933.47, as Apple traded more than 2.5% lower.

U.S. chemical giants DuPont and Dow Chemical officially agreed to merge in an all-stock deal to form a combined company valued at $130 billion U.S. The new firm, to be called DowDuPont, is expected to eventually separate into three entities.

Despite declines of about 5% Friday, DuPont is still up about 4% for the week so far. Dow Chemical traded more than 2% lower Friday, on track for slight gains for the week.

BlackRock traded more than 6% lower, while Legg Mason and Charles Schwab were off more than 4.5% in afternoon trade.

In economic news, October U.S. business inventories were unchanged, while September’s figure was revised to 0.1% from 0.3%

The preliminary read on December U.S. Michigan Consumer Sentiment was 91.8.

November retail sales rose 0.2%. Ex-autos, retail sales rose 0.4%.

The U.S. Labor Department said on Friday its producer price index advanced 0.3% after falling 0.4% in October.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury gained sharply, lowering yields to 2.14% from Thursday’s 2.23%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices slid $1.22 a barrel to $35.54 U.S.

Gold prices gained $5.16 to $1,076.74 U.S. an ounce.

Source: Baystreet.ca – Big Losses for Stocks At Week’s End

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