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Trader Michael Milano works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Oct. 12.

Richard Drew/AP

Canada's main stock index retreated on Thursday, with declines driven by energy companies that were squeezed by cooling oil prices, as well as a drop in shares of Kirkland Lake Gold .

Suncor Energy was the biggest drag on the index, falling 1.5 per cent to $42.34. It was followed by Canadian Natural Resources Ltd , which declined 1.4 per cent to $40.93.

The overall sector retreated 1.3 per cent, as oil prices fell amid higher U.S. fuel inventories. U.S. crude prices were down 1.8 per cent to $50.38 a barrel, while Brent crude lost 1.3 per cent to $56.22. Other influential decliners included Shaw Communications Inc , which slid 3.2 per cent to $27.63, and Kirkland Lake Gold , which slumped 6.1 per cent to $17.37.

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Desjardins cut its rating on Kirkland Lake to "hold" from "buy" after the company released quarterly and production results.

The overall materials sector, where miners and other resource companies reside, lost 0.2 per cent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 28.18 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 15,772.22.

Of the index's 10 main groups, seven were in negative territory.

Financial services stocks slipped 0.2 per cent.

On the positive side, Alimentation Couche-Tard rose 2.4 per cent to $60.37. The company is buying back 4.4 million of its shares that were held by Metro Inc and Eight Capital upgraded the company to a "buy" from "neutral," citing positive trends. The overall consumer staples sector added 0.7 per cent.

Wall Street was largely unchanged late on Thursday morning as a rise in technology stocks helped negate another tumble in media stocks and results from JPMorgan and Citigroup that failed to enthuse.

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The two Wall Street banks, which had already talked down third-quarter expectations, managed to beat Wall Street's profit estimates but reported a drop in trading revenue.

JPMorgan fell more than 1 per cent, while Citigroup dropped more than 2 per cent. Bank of America and Wells Fargo, which will report on Friday, were also lower, leading the financials index down 0.36 per cent.

"Not a huge reaction to earnings despite relatively healthy quarter out of the early reporters. The risk is similar to the second quarter in that stocks are being priced for perfection," said Bryan Reilly, senior investment analyst at CIBC Atlantic Trust.

"But the strength in the global economy has accelerated and a weakening dollar should set up companies for very healthy beats in Q3."

With the S&P 500 up about 14 per cent in 2017, investors are betting on strong earnings growth across the S&P 500.

AT&T tumbled more than 4 per cent after the company said its third-quarter results took a hit from the string of hurricanes and that it lost 90,000 video subscribers in the quarter.

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That, along with a brokerage Guggenheim raising concerns over subscriber losses at Disney and Viacom, sent fresh jitters across a sector that was hit a day earlier by President Donald Trump's suggestion to challenge TV network licenses over 'fake news'.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 10.02 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 22,862.87, the S&P 500 was down 2.31 points, or 0.09 per cent, at 2,552.93 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.34 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 6,602.20.

Six of the 11 major S&P indexes were lower, led by a more than 2 per cent fall in the telecom services index due to AT&T's declines.

The consumer discretionary sector lost 0.44 per cent, weighed down by media stocks.

Disney dropped 1.25 per cent. Viacom sank 4.28 per cent after also warning that Charter Communications subscribers may lose access to its channels as the expiration looms for a distribution deal.

Charter fell 1.16 per cent. Other big decliners were Comcast , which tumbled 3.05 per cent.

A 1-per-cent jump in Microsoft led the gains in the technology sector, which is the best performing this year among the 11 major sectors.

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