Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Canada’s TSX closed lower despite modest gains in the S&P 500, as energy and materials stocks fell and a plunge in shares of Alimentation Couche-Tard sent the consumer staples sector tumbling.

Unofficially, the S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 51.06 points, or 0.28%, at 17,934.74.

Couche-Tard announced a US$20-billion deal to buy French grocer Carrefour SA, but it was at a hefty premium and investors struggled to see the merits of the acquisition. Shares in the company lost just over 10%.

Story continues below advertisement

The TSX energy sector lost just over 1% as crude oil prices pulled back from recent gains on concerns that rising global COVID-19 will hamper global fuel demand.

The market did find some support from weekly inventory figures that showed a drop in crude inventories and rising refinery production.

Brent crude prices settled at $56.06 a barrel, down 52 cents, or 0.9%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled at $52.91 a barrel, falling 30 cents, or 0.6%.

Fuel demand has rebounded from last spring’s shock falloff as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened, but governments continue to place restrictions on travel that will restrain energy demand for months, analysts said.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index closed slightly higher on Wednesday with defensive sectors leading gains as investors waited for details of the next U.S. fiscal stimulus plan and Congress began President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings.

U.S. Treasury yields pulled back after rising for six straight sessions, giving a boost to rate-sensitive defensive sectors such as utilities and real estate, while economically sensitive cyclical sectors lagged.

Intel Corp advanced quickly, after the chipmaker said it would replace its Chief Executive Officer Bob Swan with VMware Inc CEO Pat Gelsinger next month.

Story continues below advertisement

Wall Street’s main indexes had hit record highs last week on expectations for a hefty COVID-19 relief package even as an attack on Capitol Hill ramped up political uncertainty.

But a day before details of incoming President Joe Biden’s fiscal relief plan was due to be announced, investors appeared to pull to the sidelines.

“Investors have been for some time looking to the second half of 2021. They continue to hope for a real reopening,” said Mona Mahajan, U.S. Investment Strategist, Allianz Global Investors, New York.

Referring to the Treasury yield decline, Mahajan said: “A day like today is probably natural after a long run. Some of the laggard (stock sectors) are leading.”

As U.S. House of Representatives gathered to consider a second impeachment for Trump after the Capitol invasion by his supporters which left five dead, some investors were watching to see whether impeachment could delay stimulus or other parts of in-coming President Joe Biden’s agenda.

“The headlines coming in are causing some near term jitters but it looks like investors are looking past that to the rest of the year,” said Shawn Cruz, senior market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Story continues below advertisement

While utilities and real estate lead percentage gains among the 11 major S&P sectors during the session the biggest losers were the more economically sensitive sectors such as materials and industrials.

“Investors are in wait-and-see mode for now ... if you’re moving to the sidelines you probably might want to be moving out of cyclicals,” said Cruz.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 8.22 points, or 0.03%, to 31,060.47, the S&P 500 gained 8.65 points, or 0.23%, to 3,809.84 and the Nasdaq Composite added 56.52 points, or 0.43%, to 13,128.95.

The S&P had expanded its gains temporarily in the late afternoon before losing ground again after the Federal Reserve released its “Beige Book” report which showed U.S. economic activity increasing modestly in recent weeks as employment dropped in a growing number of Fed districts due to a surge in coronavirus infections.

Most of the 11 major S&P sectors gained ground. After boasting a record closing high in the previous day’s session, the Russell 2000 pulled back slightly and the S&P growth index outperformed the value index.

Earnings reports from big U.S. banks including JPMorgan and Citigroup were also on investors minds as they will mark the unofficial start to the fourth-quarter earnings season on Friday.

Story continues below advertisement

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc’s shares climbed as the U.S. government said it would buy 1.25 million additional doses of its COVID-19 antibody cocktail for about $2.63 billion. Shares of VMware fell after the Intel news.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.11% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.30%. Emerging market stocks rose 0.69%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan had closed 0.62% higher, while Nikkei futures rose 0.92%.

The U.S. dollar index rose for the fourth time in five sessions, still not far from near three-year lows hit last week.

The greenback has found support from expectations of a continued economic recovery in the United States, even as countries in Europe resort to lockdowns to fend off a second COVID-19 wave.

“You are seeing a continuance of the U.S. outperformance trade,” said Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist at Cambridge Global Payments in Toronto.

Story continues below advertisement

The dollar index rose 0.353%, with the euro down 0.43% to $1.2155.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.10% versus the greenback at 103.85 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.3631, down 0.23% on the day.

An auction of $24 billion in 30-year bonds was well bid, further pressuring yields lower.

Benchmark U.S. 10-year notes last rose 15/32 in price to yield 1.0883%, from 1.138% late on Tuesday.

Spot gold dropped 0.1% to $1,853.44 an ounce. Silver fell 0.75% to $25.38.

Bitcoin last rose 5.54% to $35,919.47.

Story continues below advertisement

Also see: Stocks that saw action Wednesday – and why

Reuters

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies