Stocks Begin Friday in Red



Stocks in Toronto retreated in the first hour, but were set for weekly gains, as domestic economic data raised hopes of a soft landing, while materials sector slid as prices of most commodities retreated with a strengthening U.S. dollar.

The TSX Composite backed off 29.32 points, to begin the week’s last session at 22,057.94.

The Canadian dollar gave back 0.24 cents to 73.68 cents U.S.

In domestic company news, activist hedge fund Starboard Value said on Thursday it had nominated three candidates to join the board of Canadian utility Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. Algonquin shares advanced 16 cents, or 1.9%, to $8.38.

Meanwhile, BMO Global Asset Management said on Friday it had partnered with U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group to broaden access to private markets for Canadian investors. Shares in “The First Canadian Bank” let go of 20 cents to $130.30.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada says retail trade in January decreased 0.3% to $67.0 billion. Sales were down in three of nine subsectors and were led by decreases at motor vehicle and parts dealers, while new housing prices edged up 0.1% month over month in February.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 2.44 points to 550.73.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were pointing lower, as communications dipped 0.6%, while information technology and consumer discretionary each fell 0.5%.

The three gainers were health-care, ballooning 3.1%, while gold brightened 0.3%, and utilities inched up 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks slipped on Friday, but the major averages headed for a winning week and the Dow Jones Industrial Average barreled toward its best week of the year.

The 30-stock index slipped 119.59 points to 39,661.78.

The S&P 500 index staggered 4.41 points to 5,241.52,

The NASDAQ fell 14.39 points to 16,387.44.

FedEx rose more than 8% after posting adjusted earnings that beat analyst estimates, while Nike sank 8% on disappointing guidance and slowing China sales. Lululemon slid 18% on weak guidance and slowing growth in North America, and headed for its worst day since March 2020.

All three major averages are tracking for healthy gains this week, with the S&P 500 on pace for a 2.4% pop and the NASDAQ rising 2.6%. The Dow is the outperformer of the three, up 2.7% through Thursday’s close and on pace for its best week since December.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury were higher, lowering yields to 4.22% at Thursday’s 4.27%.

Oil prices stuttered 41 cents to $80.66 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices sank nine dollars to $2,175.70.



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