The stock market in Canada went sideways on Thursday, as investors remain uncertain about how more interest rate hikes could impact economic growth. The S&P/TSX Composite Index ended the highly volatile session at 20,188, slipping five points from its previous closing.
While shares of metal mining, financial, and consumer cyclicals companies showcased weakness, strong gains in other key stock market sectors like healthcare and energy pared the index’s losses for the day.
The latest U.S. GDP data
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew positively at an annual rate of 2.7% in the quarter ended in December 2022. The latest data apparently confirmed an economic slowdown as it missed Street’s expectations and was also lower than the GDP growth of 3.2% the previous quarter. On the positive side, consumer spending strengthened last quarter, despite weakness in exports and residential fixed investment.
Top TSX Composite movers and active stocks
Innergex Renewable Energy, Ivanhoe Mines, Equinox Gold, and Teck Resources were the worst-performing TSX stocks yesterday, as they fell by at least 3.7% each.
On the positive side, shares of Bausch Health Companies (TSX:BHC) popped 13.8% to $13.36 per share after its better-than-expected fourth-quarter results came out. Despite currency headwinds, the Laval-headquartered pharmaceutical company reported total revenue of US$2.19 billion for the December quarter, which is slightly higher than analysts’ expectation of US$2.13 billion.
While its adjusted quarterly earnings of US$1.03 per share fell 19.5% year over year, Bausch Health managed to beat Street’s estimate of US$0.91 per share. On a year-to-date basis, BHC stock is now up 57.2%.
Similarly, Stantec (TSX:STN) stock jumped by 9.3% in the last session to $77.61 per share, a day after releasing its upbeat quarterly results. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the Edmonton-based engineering company’s total revenue rose 23% from a year ago, which helped it post a solid 44% jump in its adjusted earnings to $0.82 per share. With this, Stantec’s quarterly earnings beat analysts’ expectations of $0.71 per share. Its strong results encouraged the company to raise its quarterly dividends by 8.3%. STN stock now trades with 19.6% year-to-date gains.
Gildan Activewear, Nuvista Energy, Osisko Mining, and Advantage Energy were also among the top gainers on the Toronto Stock Exchange Thursday, as they inched up by more than 5% each.
Based on their daily trade volume, Suncor Energy, Enbridge, Barrick Gold, and Canadian Natural Resources were the most active Canadian stocks for the day.
Prices of energy products, including crude oil and natural gas, were trading on a bullish note early Friday morning, which could help TSX energy stocks inch up at the open today. In contrast, metals and mining shares might decline this morning due to continued weakness in metals prices.
While no key domestic economic releases are due, Canadian investors may want to keep an eye on the monthly new home sales and personal consumption expenditures data from the U.S. market this morning.
On the corporate events front, TSX-listed companies like CI Financial, Onex, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Boralex, and Sprott are expected to announce their latest quarterly results on February 24.