Stocks Pull Back from Monthly Highs
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March 30,2017 10:34 am

Stocks Pull Back from Monthly Highs

Equities in this country's biggest centre fell on Thursday after posting its highest close in one month the day before, pressured by losses for the energy group even as oil prices rose.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index tailed off 23.7 points to open for business Thursday at 15,633.93

The Canadian dollar rose 0.18 cents at 75.18 cents U.S.

ConocoPhillips on Wednesday agreed to sell oil sands and western Canadian natural gas assets to Cenovus Energy Inc for $17.7 billion, making it the latest international oil major to pull back from a region where high costs and low crude prices have made it hard for large companies to make an acceptable return.

Cenovus shares slumped $2.05, or 11.8%, to $15.40.

Billionaire hedge fund manager William Ackman has apologized to clients for betting on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, telling them he was "deeply and profoundly sorry" for losing so much of their money on the investment.

Valeant shares, however, crept up two cents to $14.94.

Desjardins raised the target price on AGF Management to $7.00 with a buy rating. AGF shares dipped six cents, or 1%, to $6.13.

RBC started coverage on Black Diamond Group with a sector perform rating, and a $4.25 target price. Black Diamond shares gained two cents to $3.88.

RBC cut the target price on Redknee Solutions to $1.00 from $1.75. Redknee shares retreated five cents, or 3.9%, to $1.22.

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that its industrial product price index increased 0.1% during February, mostly due to higher prices for meat, fish and dairy products and primary non-ferrous metal products.

The Raw Materials Price Index gained 1.2%, mainly as a result of higher prices for animals and animal products.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange acquired 0.6 points to start Thursday at 812.65

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive to start out with consumer discretionary stocks soaring 0.9%, health-care gaining 0.4%, and industrials picking up 0.3%.

The five laggards were weighed most by energy, off 1.4%, gold, dulling in price 1.1%, while materials faded 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. equities traded slightly higher on Thursday as investors digested some economic data and kept an eye on oil prices.

The Dow Jones Industrials increased 47.39 points to 20,706.71, with Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth setting the pace.

The S&P 500 gained 3.54 points to 2,364.67, with financials outperforming

The NASDAQ Composite marched ahead 12.38 points to 5,909.92

Friday marks the last day of the first quarter. Entering Thursday's session, the NASDAQ composite had gained 9.6%, while the S&P and Dow had risen 5.5% and 4.5% respectively.

In economic news, the U.S. economy grew at a rate of 2.1% in the final quarter of last year, more than was expected. Other data released Thursday included weekly jobless claims, which fell by 3,000 to 258,000.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note lost ground, lowering yields to 2.4% from Wednesday's 2.38%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices climbed 33 cents to $49.84 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices sank $5.40 at $1,248.30 U.S. an ounce.