Equities in Toronto inched lower on Tuesday, as energy stocks dropped over 2% tracking weaker crude, while investors remained cautious ahead of Congressional testimony by U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
The TSX remained red 49.32 points to approach noon EDT Tuesday at 18,765.81.
The Canadian dollar retreated 0.23 cents at 79.63 cents U.S.
Crescent Point Energy lost 24 cents, or 4.6%, to $5.01, and Meg Energy docked 42 cents, or 6.2%, to $6.33, the biggest decliners on the index.
The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was George Weston, which jumped $5.78, or 5.6%, to $108.25. The company announced it would sell its food retail segment, Weston Foods, and focus on its retail and real-estate businesses.
Greenhouse grower Village Farms International surrendered much of this morning’s gains and lost a penny by noon to $17.12.
Alberta is expected to see the fastest growth in renewable energy capacity between 2018 and 2023, the Canada Energy Regulator forecast, as new wind and solar projects help replace coal-fired electricity.
The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 16.32 points, or 1.6%, to 978.51.
Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower midday, with energy faltering 3%, health-care, withering 2.3%, and materials off 1.6%.
The five gainers were led by consumer staples, ahead 1.2%, while utilities and industrials each improved 0.4%.
U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, one year after the bull market from the pandemic lows began, as investors took some profits in shares that will benefit the most from the reopening of the economy.
The Dow Jones Industrials fought doggedly toward the breakeven point, but was still short 14.63 points by noon Tuesday to 32,716.57
The S&P 500 eked up 6.5 points 3,947.09
The NASDAQ Composite dipped 9.1 points to 13,368.44.
Shares of Carnival and Norwegian cruise lines fell about 5% each. American Airlines and United Airlines dropped more than 4% apiece. Brick-and-mortar retailer Gap also fell over 2%.
ViacomCBS, one of the top performers in the S&P 500 since the pandemic lows, lost 3% after saying it would offer more stock for sale. The shares are up more than 700% since last March.
Since the low on March 23, 2020, both the S&P 500 and Dow have advanced more than 75%, marking the best start to a new bull market ever. The NASDAQ is up more than 90%.
On the pandemic front, a U.S. health agency expressed concern Tuesday that AstraZeneca may have included outdated information in trial results of its COVID-19 vaccine.
The U.S. is administering about 2.5 million COVID vaccine shots every day. However, the number of new cases is increasing in 21 states as highly infectious variants spread and governors relax restrictions on businesses.
On Tuesday, Powell and Yellen will make their first joint appearance before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. The discussion will center on the oversight of the Treasury’s and Fed’s pandemic response.
In prepared remarks published ahead of the hearing, Powell noted that the recovery is gaining steam, before adding there’s still a long way to go.
Prices for 10-Year Treasurys gained ground, lowering yields to 1.65% from Monday’s 1.69%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices floundered $2.77 to $58.79 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices stumbled $10.60 to $1,727.50.