Canada’s main stock index slipped slightly at Monday’s opening bell with financial and commodity-linked stocks under pressure. On Wall Street, key indexes were also muted in early trading as investors await results later in the week from some of tech’s biggest names.
At 9:33 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 24.23 points, or 0.12 per cent, at 20,668.92.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3.92 points, or 0.01%, at the open to 33,805.04. The S&P 500 opened lower by 1.45 points, or 0.04%, at 4,132.07, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 18.99 points, or 0.16%, to 12,053.47 at the opening bell.
“This week is all about the U.S. tech giants, which will be reporting and setting the tone for trading,” Naeem Aslam, chief investment officer with Zaye Capital Markets, said.
“There is no doubt that the earnings from the U.S. banks have been somewhat better than expected (if you look at the overall picture). This kept the trading sentiment positive among traders, but what matters now is how well the US tech giants will perform.”
Alphabet and Microsoft are set to report Tuesday. Amazon, Intel and Meta are among the companies reporting later in the week.
In this country, Canadian National Railway reports results after Monday’s close. Canadian Pacific Kansas City Ltd. reports after Wednesday’s close.
On the economic side, Canadians will get a snapshot of the country’s broad economic health with the release of GDP figures for February on Friday from Statistics Canada. Statscan’s early estimate suggested growth of 0.3 per cent for the month. The report will also include an early look at expected growth in March.
“RBC Economics expects the increase in February monthly GDP to be weaker than Statscan’s initial flash estimate of 0.3 per cent (RBC 0.1 per cent) given a large 2.4-per-cent drop in manufacturing sale volumes and declines in wholesale (-1.8%) and retail sales (-0.7%) volumes,” Alvin Tan, Asia FX strategist with RBC, said.
“March GDP growth is expected to remain on the slow side as hours worked rose less than in January and February, and the monthly manufacturing PMI slipped back into contractionary territory.”
He also said the current strike by federal workers could be enough to push GDP growth into negative territory in April.
Overseas, the pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.06 per cent in late morning trading. Britain’s FTSE 100 slid 0.0.06 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.05 per cent and 0.07 per cent, respectively.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished up 0.10 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.58 per cent, giving up gains seen earlier in the session.
Crude prices were choppy in early trading with rate concerns ahead of next month’s Federal Reserve policy meeting and growth worries weighing on sentiment.
The day range on Brent is US$80.48 to US$81.87 in the predawn period. The range on West Texas Intermediate was US$76.72 to US$77.98.
“The recent stress in the U.S. banking sector has heightened concerns around the growth trajectory, triggering a shift from a market heavily focused on inflation last year to growth concerns,” Stephen Innes, managing partner with SPI Asset Management, said.
“Oil markets have particularly suffered from growth worries and slowing inflation, with areas of the economy showing signs of reset, such as housing and wages.”
From the policy perspective, he said, the main risk to growth and oil markets is if the Fed signals a rate hike beyond May.
Currently, the markets have priced in a quarter point rate hike by the Fed next month.
Elsewhere, gold prices were trading in a narrow range early Monday.
Spot gold was little changed at US$1,982.34 an ounce while U.S. gold futures were up 0.1 per cent at US$1,991.30.
The Canadian dollar was fairly steady in early trading while its U.S. counterpart edged higher against a group of world currencies.
The day range on the loonie was 73.11 US cents to 73.94 US cents in the early premarket period. The Canadian dollar is up nearly 1 per cent against the greenback over the past month.
Canadian investors get February GDP figures on Friday. Ahead of that, the Bank of Canada releases deliberations from its most recent meeting on Wednesday.
Overseas, the U.S. dollar index, which weighs the currency against a group of world counterparts, was up 0.12 per cent at 101.8, according to figures from Reuters
The index hit a one-year low of 100.78 by mid-April as markets speculated on the future direction of interest rates.
The pound slid 0.2 per cent to US$1.2420 and the euro fell 0.1 per cent at US$1.09775, with neither currency having been able to hold respective multi-month highs above US$1.25 and US$1.10 reached in mid April, Reuters reported.
In bonds, the yield on the U.S. 10-year note was slightly lower at 3.541 per cent in the predawn period.
More company news
Coca-Cola Co beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue on Monday, as demand for its sodas remained resilient in the face of multiple price increases. The company said net revenue rose to US$11-billion from US$10.49-billion in the first quarter, compared with analysts’ average estimate of US$10.80-billion, according to Refinitiv data. -Reuters
Bed Bath & Beyond — one of the original big box retailers known for its seemingly endless offerings of sheets, towels and kitchen gadgets — filed for bankruptcy protection, following years of dismal sales and losses and numerous failed turnaround plans. The beleaguered home goods chain made the filing Sunday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey and said it will start an orderly wind down of its operations, while seeking a buyer for all or some of its businesses. In the bankruptcy filing, the retailer said it anticipates closing all of its stores by June 30. Shares were down about 25 per cent on the Nasdaq shortly after the opening bell. -The Associated Press
NBCUniversal Chief Executive Jeff Shell is leaving after acknowledging an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, following a complaint that prompted an investigation, parent company Comcast Corp said on Sunday. “I had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret,” Shell said in a statement. His departure is effective immediately. Shell, previously chairman of NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment, took over as CEO in 2020, replacing Steve Burke. -Reuters
(8:30 a.m. ET) U.S. Chicago Fed National Activity Index for March.
With Reuters and The Canadian Press