Canadian stocks couldn't hold on to their gains late Wednesday, succumbing to the negative sentiment that washed over New York markets following news that U.S. retail sales fell for a second month.
In Toronto, the S&P/TSX ended essentially flat, after rising as much as 125 points earlier in the session. It closed up 0.57 of a point at 11497.87. The energy sector saw the biggest selloff, declining nearly 2 per cent as the price of oil continued to fall. Shares of Canadian Natural Resources dipped 2 per cent and Precision Drilling lost 4 per cent. Dollarama rose almost 7 per cent after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results and announcing a dividend hike.
In New York, the S&P 500 retreated 9.3 points, to 1314.88 points. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 77.42 points, to close at 12496.38 points. Shares of Johnson & Johnson climbed 2 per cent after the company won regulatory approval for its $19.7-billion (U.S.) purchase of Synthes Inc. Dell Inc. rose 2 per cent after the computer maker announced it would begin paying a quarterly dividend. And shares of JP Morgan Chase & Co. shares rose almost 2 per cent as CEO Jamie Dimon's testified about his bank's $2-billion trading loss before a Senate committee.
The price of oil fell 74 cents, to $82.58 a barrel. Gold rose by $5.60 an ounce to $1,619.40. Copper fell 1.8 cents to $3.3175 a pound. The Canadian dollar slipped one-tenth of a cent to 97.30 cents.