TSX Today: What to Watch for in Stocks on Thursday, August 18

An overnight recovery in oil and metals prices could help the commodity-heavy TSX benchmark to open slightly higher today.

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TSX Today

Canadian equities turned negative on Wednesday after consistently rising in the previous five sessions. The TSX Composite Index fell by 89 points, or 0.4%, for the day to settle at 20,181. While an intraday bounce back in oil prices helped energy stocks recover, falling metals prices continued to drive mining shares on the exchange sharply lower. Technology, consumer cyclicals, and real estate were also among the worst-performing sectors yesterday after weaker-than-expected U.S. retail sales data disappointed investors.

Top TSX movers and active stocks

Nexgen Energy (TSX:NXE)(NYSE:NXE) stock fell by 8.5% on August 17 to $4.86 per share. It’s a Vancouver-based uranium exploration and development company with a market cap of about $2.3 billion. This sharp drop in NXE stock came as investors reacted to the news that another Vancouver-based uranium company Kraken Energy has appointed Nexgen’s former senior exploration geologist Matthew C. Schwab as its chief executive officer, president, and director. After yesterday’s sharp selloff, Nexgen Energy’s stock now trades with a 12.3% year-to-date loss.

Energy Fuels, Silvercrest Metals, New Gold, Equinox Gold, Denison Mines, and Lightspeed Commerce were also among the bottom performers yesterday, as they fell by more than 7% each.

On the positive side, shares of Canopy Growth, Athabasca Oil, Baytex Energy, and MEG Energy were the top-performing TSX Composite components, as they rose by at least 3% each.

Based on their daily trade volume, Barrick Gold, Suncor Energy, Crescent Point Energy, and Manulife Financial were the most active Canadian stocks. Nearly 10.6 million shares of Barrick Gold changed hands on the exchange Wednesday.

TSX today

Early Thursday morning, commodity prices — especially crude oil, gold, and copper — were trading with bullish sentiments. This positive indication could take the commodity-heavy TSX index higher at the open today. While no key economic releases from Canada are due, investors may want to keep a close eye on the monthly manufacturing and existing home sales and weekly jobless claims numbers from the U.S. market this morning. Overall, I expect stocks to remain volatile in the coming sessions ahead of the second-quarter U.S. GDP numbers scheduled to be released next week.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

The Motley Fool recommends Lightspeed Commerce. Fool contributor Jitendra Parashar has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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