US stock markets in correction territory, TSX down on worrying signs from Ukraine


TORONTO – North American stock markets tumbled mid-week, with all three US markets entering correction territory as crude oil prices continued to rise on rising tensions in Ukraine.

Markets rose slightly in morning trading but fell after Ukraine declared a state of emergency and Russia announced the evacuation of its embassy in Kyiv.

Michael Currie, vice president and investment adviser at TD Wealth Management, said markets have been falling steadily for about a week.

“Whenever you see a pop in the morning, people use it as a chance to take profit and get out,” he said in an interview.

“It’s still the growth stocks that are the hardest hit, but outside of energy, you really don’t see any sector staying positive or leading the way.”

Lowe’s posted strong results, but early stock gains evaporated.

“It indicates that even good news is somehow ignored,” Currie said.

In Canada, shares of Gildan Activewear climbed as high as 6.6% but closed up 3.5% following its quarterly report in which it increased the quarterly dividend and targeted growth over the past few months. next three years.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 163.65 points at 20,744.17 for its fifth consecutive day of losses.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 464.85 points to 33,131.76. The S&P 500 index fell 79.26 points to 4,225.50, while the Nasdaq composite fell 344.03 points or 2.6% to 13,037.49.

The Dow joined the S&P in corrective territory, with its shares falling at least 10% below its most recent peak. The Nasdaq is poised to move into bearish territory, a 20% loss, with its shares down 19.6% from its peak.

Currie does not expect a respite from sour sentiment until interest rates rise or the situation in Ukraine is resolved.

The TSX suffered a broad-based decline with nine of the 11 major sectors down, led by healthcare, technology, industrials and financials.

“Four pretty diverse groups, all down more than one percent (today), so it’s not just names or tech companies anymore. It’s getting pretty broad,” Currie said.

Health care fell 2.3%, while technology followed closely, Hut 8 Mining Corp. and Lightspeed Commerce Inc. which fell 5.4% and 4.9%, respectively.

Industries lost 2.0% as Bombardier Inc. fell 3.7%, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. fell 2.6%, Canadian National Railway Company fell 2.4% and Air Canada fell 2.1%.

The heavyweight in the financial sector fell 1.3 ahead of the start of first-quarter results from Canada’s largest banks on Thursday. Royal Bank kicks off the season with investors seeking commentary on inflation, interest rate hikes and market volatility.

“There are good expectations, but they don’t expect what we saw last quarter with all the dividend increases,” Currie said.

Materials and Energy were up on the day as crude oil and gold prices continued to be pushed higher by the threat of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Investors fear that pipelines will be closed and Europe’s energy supply from Russia will be cut off. At the same time, Iranian nuclear talks continue, which could actually add some oil supply to world markets, Currie added.

The April gold contract was up US$3 at US$1,910.40 an ounce and the March copper contract was down 3.7 cents at US$4.48 per pound.

The April crude contract rose 19 cents to US$92.10 per barrel and the April natural gas contract rose 13.2 cents to US$4.59 per mmBTU.

The shares of Advantage Oil & Gas Ltd. rose 9.1%, while those of Vermilion Energy Inc. rose 2.7%.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.63 cents US versus 78.47 cents US on Tuesday.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on February 23, 2022.


Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press


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