The Toronto stock market was slightly lower Friday as a decline in technology and utilities stocks could be industrial and bank stocks.
At midday, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was down 10.67 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 16,445.06.
The Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart as the loonie held on to this week’s gains even after data showed the U.S. economy expanded at its fastest clip in nearly four years. It was trading at 76.53 cents US.
The tech sector was a drag on the index, down neary 3 per cent. Shares of Constellation Software fell 7.2 per cent after the company missed quarterly profit estimates. The stock was the top laggard on the TSX and the biggest drag on the information technology sector. Shopify was off 4 per cent and BlackBerry fell 1.6 per cent.
The utilities sector was down 0.35 per cent as Atco fell 1.4 per cent and Northland Power was off 1.1 per cent; both companies had their target prices cut by analysts on Friday.
Industrials rose 0.3 per cent as TFI International rose 7.9 per cent after posting strong results and getting upgrades from analysts. Air Canada rose 1.2 per cent after posting solid results and saying it will establish its own loyalty program whether or not Aimia Inc. accepts a bid led by the airline to buy the loyalty company’s Aeroplan business for $250-million and the assumption of $2-billion in liabilities.
Aecon Group rose 4 per cent after reporting higher quarterly results. A big decliner was Cameco Corp., down 3 per cent, after a stock downgrade following results earlier in the week.
U.S. stocks fell on Friday as technology shares were dragged lower by disappointing results from Intel and Twitter, although a jump in Amazon after strong earnings helped curb losses.
Intel sank 7.4 per cent after its fast-growing data center business missed estimates as the chipmaker faced stiff rivalry from Advanced Micro Devices, which rose 3.8 per cent.
Twitter’s shares plunged 18.3 per cent after reporting fewer-than-expected monthly active users and warning that the closely watched figure could keep falling as it deletes phony accounts.
Facebook, which lost more than US$120-billion in market value and sent the Nasdaq tumbling 1 per cent on Thursday after a weak forecast, was down 0.5 per cent.
Five of the 11 main S&P sectors were lower, with technology’s 0.94 per cent drop, the steepest.
The pressure on tech stocks continued from Thursday when Facebook’s dismal forecast caught investors off guard about the growth prospects in a sector that has led the market’s march towards record highs.
“So you can continue to have strong fundamentals but if that confidence is shaken a little bit you’re going to see a bigger pullback than the fundamentals warrant,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network.
The S&P 500 index fell 8 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,827. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 12 points to 25,513. The Nasdaq composite fell 66 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 7,785.
The U.S. economy grew at a 4.1 percent annualized rate in the second quarter, its fastest pace in nearly four years, the Commerce Department said, as consumers boosted spending and farmers rushed shipments of soybeans to China to beat retaliatory trade tariffs.
But the growth pace matched expectations and economists cautioned against putting much weight on the surge as the trade-related boost is expected to unwind later this year.
“A pretty big number is really not a huge shock, but the question is, are the numbers sustainable,” said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.
Amazon.com jumped as much as 4 percent to a record high of $1,880.05 after forecasting strong sales and posting a profit that was double analysts’ estimates.
The S&P is up about 1 per cent so far this week, which has seen a large number of marquee companies report results, not all of them encouraging, and the U.S and the European Union agreed to negotiate on trade.
Earnings of S&P 500 companies are now expected to rise 22.6 per cent in the second quarter, compared with an estimate of 20.7 per cent as of July 1, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The energy sector dipped 0.17 per cent, weighed down by a 2.9 per cent slide in Exxon after its results fell short of expectations.
Health stocks were also under pressure, falling 0.48 per cent, after a round of disappointing earnings.
AbbVie fell 3.7 per cent after a slight beat on sales of its Humira drug failed to allay concerns over the future of the cash-cow product.
Merck shed 0.9 per cent after saying it was unlikely to follow rival Eli Lilly in separating its animal health unit.
With files from Reuters, AP