BNN Bloomberg's closing bell update: Dec. 30, 2019
TORONTO -- Year-end market positioning pushed Canada's main stock index lower on a low-volume day at the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday.
With the new year looming, investors were clearing the decks and getting ready for 2020, said Craig Jerusalim, senior portfolio manager for CIBC Asset Management.
"If I sum up the market today, I would say that there's a lot of pre-positioning going on, setting up for 2020," he said in an interview.
"Specifically, there's a lot of outperforming growth companies being rotated into the underperforming value companies -- a little bit of selling the winners to buy the underperformers."
In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 69.65 points at 17,098.56, giving up some of its recent gains that resulted in a string of record highs.
Stocks also moved broadly lower on Wall Street on Monday, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing 183.12 points to close at 28,462.14 after a similar record-setting run in recent weeks.
The S&P 500 index was down 18.73 points at 3,221.29, while the Nasdaq composite fell 60.62 points to 8,945.99.
The Canadian dollar was at 76.58 cents US on Monday, compared with Friday's average of 76.46 cents US.
"The energy and material stocks are higher, specifically a lot of the gold stocks are a lot higher due to a weaker U.S. dollar. The U.S. dollar seems to be giving back some of its earlier gains," said Jerusalim.
"On the negative side, a lot of the interest-sensitive stocks seem to be underperforming, such as the utilities and pipelines, due to interest rates, as indicated by the 10-year yield, moving higher."
The February crude contract was down 13 cents at US$61.59 and the February natural gas contract was down 4.3 cents at US$2.19 per mmBTU.
The February gold contract fell 30 cents to US$1,517.80 an ounce on Monday, and the March copper contract was at US$2.82 a pound, down 0.9 cents from Friday.
Monday was one of the biggest dates on the calendar for utility, pipeline and real estate companies going ex-dividend, said Jerusalim, which means their next dividend payout goes to the current owner even if the stock is sold to someone else.
Energy and mining stocks gained Monday in Toronto, while financial, health care, technology, industrials, telecoms and utilities sectors fell.
The biggest price gains on the Toronto market on Monday were posted by Maxar Technologies Inc., the Westminster, Colo.-based company that announced it would sell its MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates arm to Canadian owners for $1 billion.
Maxar's shares rose to $21.50, up $2.79 or 14.9 per cent, in Toronto. The deal means that MDA, the company that built the robotic Canadarm for the U.S. Space Shuttle program, will again be a Canadian-headquartered corporation.
Oncolytics Biotech Inc., a Calgary-based company developing cancer treatments, continued to post big gains, jumping $1.42 or 39 per cent to $5.06 after recording a 52 per cent gain last Friday.
Shares in Restaurant Brands International Inc. closed down one per cent or 84 cents at $83.50. On Friday, after markets closed, the company announced that Alex Macedo, the president of its Tim Hortons subsidiary, will be stepping down in March after two years in the role.
Shopify Inc. fell $16.97 or 3.2 per cent to $517.79, while Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. dropped $4.24 or 1.26 per cent to $332.10.
The Toronto market is to be closed on Wednesday for New Year's Day.