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Dozens of people line up to register for the The National Job Fair & Training Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 2012. (J.P. MOCZULSKI For The Globe and Mail)
Dozens of people line up to register for the The National Job Fair & Training Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 2012. (J.P. MOCZULSKI For The Globe and Mail)

At the open: TSX lower amid huge jobs miss Add to ...

The Toronto stock market was lower Friday as data showed Canadian job creation remained volatile in April.

The S&P/TSX composite index lost 23.22 points to 14,522.81.

The Canadian dollar tumbled 0.69 of a cent to 91.71 cents (U.S.) as jobs data for April showed a big decrease in employment. Statistics Canada reported that the economy cut 28,900 jobs, against expectations of a gain of about 12,000. It was also a huge turnaround from the previous month when the economy cranked out 43,000 jobs, which means 14,000 jobs were added over the two-month period.

The unemployment rate held steady at 6.9 per cent.

U.S. indexes were lower with the Dow Jones industrials down 43.86 points to 16,507.11, the Nasdaq lost 19.42 points to 4,032.07 while the S&P 500 index declined 7.34 points to 1,868.29.

The TSX is heading for a negative week after three weeks of advances, after traders digested a heavy slate of earnings news and a forecast calling for lower global economic growth from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. But it is still one of the best performing stock indexes, up almost seven per cent year to date.

It was a quiet morning for earnings news as TMX Group Ltd., the operator of the country’s largest stock posted first-quarter net income of $46.4-million, or 86 cents per share, up 23 per cent from a year ago. The owner of the Toronto and TSX Venture stock exchanges, Montreal derivatives market and other securities exchanges says revenue was up six per cent to $182.1-million. Its stock dipped four cents to $58.11.

Shares in The Second Cup Ltd. lost 10 cents to $4.75 as the coffee chain reported a drop in its first-quarter net income to $56,000, or one cent per share, compared with $688,000, or seven cents per share, in the same quarter of 2013. Revenue was up at $7.6-million, compared with $6.2-million year-over-year.

On Thursday after the markets closed, energy producer Canadian Natural Resources said that quarterly net income totalled $622-million or 57 cents per share compared with $213-million or 19 cents in the prior-year period. Revenue for the three months ended March 31 rose to almost $4.4-billion from $3.76-billion in the prior-year period and its shares gained 60 cents to $43.60.

In other corporate developments, The Financial Times reported that Apple is orchestrating a $3.2-billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, the headphone maker and music streaming distributor founded by hip-hop star Dr. Dre and record producer Jimmy Iovine. It said that Apple could announce a deal as early as next week.

There was some positive inflation news from China.

Consumer prices in the world’s second-largest economy rose 1.8 per cent over a year earlier, down from March’s 2.4 per cent increase, giving the government more leeway if needed to stimulate the slowing economy.

The TSX energy sector led decliners, down 0.45 per cent while renewed concerns about tensions in Ukraine pushed June crude up 57 cents to $100.83 (U.S.) a barrel.

Pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine are planning a referendum on independence over the weekend, in apparent defiance of a call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to put off the vote.

July copper was up one cent to $3.07 a pound while June bullion gained $3.40 to $1,291.10 an ounce and the precious metals and base metals sectors were both up about 0.3 per cent.

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