Stocks Slide Friday, but Gain on Week

The TSX dwindled 147.59 points to end Friday, the week and April at 19,108.33. Still, the index gained six points on the week, or 0.3%.

The Canadian dollar deleted 0.07 cents to 81.38 cents U.S.

Tech issues weighed most heavily on the index, as Shopify dropped $61.33, or 4.1%, to $1,453.00, while Descartes Systems fell $2.20, or 2.7%, to $78.63.

Materials stocks were bruised, as First Quantum Minerals faded $1.23, or 4.2%, to $28.24, while Endeavour Silver lost 25 cents, or 3.7%, to $6.47.

Among energy stocks, Meg Energy fell 31 cents, or 4.4%, to $6.76, while Whitecap Resources subsided 15 cents, or 2.7%, to $5.37.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said real gross domestic product grew 0.4% in February, following 0.7% growth in January, as 14 of the 20 industrial sectors were up.

Also, in March, the Industrial Product Price Index increased 1.6% month over month and 10.0% year over year.

Moreover, Canada’s first budget in two years looks set to join a pile of stalled bills in a Parliament besieged by partisan squabbling, a logjam that could be the trigger Prime Minister Justin Trudeau uses to call an early election.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange recovered 9.7 points to 955.26. The gain on the week was 24.6 points, or 2.65%.

All 12 TSX subgroups lost ground Friday, weighed most by information technology, down 1.9%, materials, stepping backward 1.5%, and energy, failing 1%.

ON WALLSTREET

The major averages slipped on Friday as investors took profits amid a flurry of earnings results and a robust profit beat from e-commerce giant Amazon.

The Dow Jones Industrials tumbled 185.51 points to close Friday and the week at 33,874.85. The weekly loss for the 30-stock index was 168 points, or nearly 0.5%.

The S&P 500 lost 30.3 points from Thursday’s all-time high at 4,181.17. The broader index took on one point on the week.

The NASDAQ Composite dropped 119.86 points to 13,962.68. The tech-heavy NASDAQ lost 54 points, or 0.39% on the week.

Despite Friday’s weakness in equities, the S&P 500 notched its third straight month of gains in April, adding more than 5% to the index as investors bet on a big economic and profit recovery from the pandemic.

The S&P 500 is now up 11% for the year. The benchmark closed at record levels on Thursday on the heels of blowout earnings results from Apple and Facebook.

The Dow rose about 2.7% this month, while the NASDAQ gained 5.4% in April.

Amazon, the last of Wall Street’s mega-cap tech companies to publish results, reported a record first-quarter profit. The Seattle-based firm said profits more than tripled to $8.1 billion and January-to-March sales soared 44% to $108 billion.

The results blew past Wall Street’s expectations with the company earning $15.79 per share vs. the consensus estimate of $9.54.

Amazon’s results showed demand remained strong for its massive online retail business even as the economy started to open up some. Amazon’s results showed demand remained strong for its massive online retail business even as the economy started to open up some. Still, Amazon shares, up 40% in 12 months, closed in the red on Friday.

Twitter, meanwhile, moved in the opposite direction on user growth results and second-quarter revenue guidance that fell short of analysts’ forecasts. The social media platform said monetizable daily active users totaled 199 million during the three months ended March 31 and reported per-share earnings of 16 cents. Twitter plunged 15.2%.

Apple felt pressure after the European Union said the company’s App Store was breaching its competition rules. The shares were down 1.5%.

On the economic calendar, March spending jumped a better-than-expected 4.2%. Personal incomes surged by a massive 21.1% amid more fiscal stimulus.

The PCE price index for March increased 0.5% month-over-month and 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. The core PCE, excluding food and energy, rose 0.4% for March and 1.8% year-over-year. The PCE inflation metric is watched closely by the Federal Reserve and Chairman Jerome Powell warned earlier in the week it may show a transitory increase in prices.

The inflation numbers apparently weren’t as high as feared, as the 10-year yield remained flat after the numbers were released.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys were unchanged, keeping yields at Thursday’s 1.63%.

Oil prices faded $1.51 to $63.50 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices settled $1.60 to $1,766.70 U.S. an ounce.

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