Stocks in Canada’s largest market pointed downward Tuesday, fighting their way out of a cellar created soon after the opening bell, as health-care companies took particularly sharp losses in price.
The S&P/TSX Composite lost 86.65 points to finish Tuesday at 18,330.09.
The Canadian dollar gained 0.14 cents to 79.44 cents U.S.
Health-care took it on the chin worst, as Trillium Pharmaceuticals shed $1.19, or 7.3%, to $15.02, while Aphria took a beating of $1.62, or 6.7%, to $22.76.
Among gold stocks, B2Gold dropped 29 cents, or 4.6%, to $6.09, while IAMGOLD lost 17 cents, or 4.1%, to $4.01.
Techs also a rough day, with Lightspeed POS slowing down $7.93, or 7.7%, to $94.51, while Docebo sank $33.88, or 6.2%, to $58.99.
Energy stocks tried to pick up some of the slack, with Enerplus surging 27 cents, or 4.4%, to $6.48, while Crescent Point Energy added 11 cents, or 2.3%, to $4.98.
Financials were in the spotlight, too, with Bank of Montreal gaining $3.11, or 3.1%, to $104.95, and Equitable Group jumping $12.93, or 10.4%, to $137.00.
In the industrial sector, CAE climbing 71 cents, or 2.2%, to $33.47, while Thomson Reuters popped $10.31, or 10.2%, to $111.57.
The TSX Venture Exchange tumbled 43.36 points, or 4%, to finish the session at 1,039.60.
All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative to end Tuesday, with health-care stumbling 3.6%, while gold and information technology were each down 2.5%.
The three gainers were energy and financials, each rallying 1%, and industrials, up 0.9%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average bounced back from steep losses and closed the session in the green on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell relieved some of the concerns about higher interest rates and inflation.
The 30-stock index moved ahead by the closing bell, 15.66 points, to 31,537.35.
The S&P 500 regained 4.87 points to 3,881.37.
The NASDAQ Composite recovered from deep losses, and climbed to within 67.85 points of breakeven to 13,465.20. At its session low, the tech-heavy benchmark fell below its 50-day moving average, a key technical indicator, for the first time since Nov. 3 on an intraday basis.
The intraday turnaround came after Powell said in his testimony to Congress that inflation is still “soft” and the economic outlook is still “highly uncertain,” easing fears of a policy change by the central bank.
High-flying tech stocks, which came under pressure amid higher interest rates, pared losses after Powell’s remarks. Tesla closed 2.2% lower after sliding as much as 13% earlier. The electric car maker suffered a 9% decline in the previous session. Apple’s stock dipped just 0.1% after falling 6% earlier.
Inflation fears have risen in recent weeks amid a sharp rise in bond yields as policymakers debate another round of economic relief as COVID cases decline. Investors fear that a spike in prices due to federal stimulus could force the central bank to raise short-term borrowing costs.
On the pandemic front, the White House said that it expects to ship out millions of delayed coronavirus vaccine doses this week after a sweeping winter storm disrupted logistics. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday that a New York resident has tested positive for the COVID-19 variant first identified in South Africa.
Prices for 10-Year Treasurys slid, raising yields back to Monday’s 1.36%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gained 20 cents to $61.90 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices slid $3.90 to $1,804.50