Stocks Drag Their Heels



Equity indexes in Canada’s largest market were dragged down on Wednesday by a drop in mining and rate-sensitive technology stocks, while investors remained cautious ahead of the minutes release from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting.

The TSX Composite fell 76.45 points to pause for lunch Wednesday at 21,141.68.

The Canadian dollar recovered 0.07 cents to 74.02 cents U.S.

Technology stocks led losses on the index with a 1.8% decline, dragged by crypto miners Hut 8, down 62 cents, or 4.8%, to $12.18, and Bitfarms, down 33 cents, 7%, to $4.36, after Bitcoin lost 2%.

The materials sector, which includes Canadian miners, extended declines to a third consecutive session after it fell 0.9%. Gold miner Wheaton Precious Metals lost the most among materials stocks, falling $5.05, or 8.5%, to $54.71, after brokerages cut price targets on the stock due to underwhelming 2024 production forecast.

Insurance company iA Financial Corp plummeted $8.76, or 9.3%, to the bottom of the index at $84.99, after it reported its fourth-quarter profit below analysts’ estimates.

Shares of apparel-maker Gildan Activewear climbed $1.83, or 4%, to $47.61 after its fourth-quarter results beat analysts’ estimates.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange slipped 1.07 points midday to 550.55.

Seven of the 12 subgroups were lower by noon hour, with information technology sinking 2.4%, gold off 1.7%, and materials down 1.3%.

The five gainers were led by energy, rumbling 2.5% higher, while health-care and utilities each acquired 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks ticked down for a third day in a row Wednesday as traders looked ahead to Nvidia’s latest quarterly earnings report.

The Dow Jones Industrials fell 66.51 points to 38,497.29.

The S&P 500 faded 9.48 points to 4,966.03.

The NASDAQ index subtracted 96.08 points to 15,534.69.

Nvidia is slated to post its fiscal fourth-quarter results after the bell. Concerns surrounding Nvidia’s high valuation have grown leading up to the announcement, as shares of the chipmaker have soared about 230% over the past year. The stock slid about 2% on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in corporate news, Palo Alto Networks shed more than 26% after the cybersecurity company cut its full-year revenue guidance. SolarEdge Technologies lost roughly 15%, dropping on weak first-quarter guidance.

Wall Street will also have an eye out for the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s January meeting, seeking further insight on where the central bank stands on rates. This comes on the back of hotter-than-expected economic data the previous week.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury dipped, raising yields to 4.30% from Tuesday’s 4.27%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite
directions.

Oil prices recovered 56 cents to $77.60 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices skidded $4.10 to $2,035.70.



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