The Canadian stock market turned bearish again on the final trading day of September after the release of worse-than-expected GDP (gross domestic product) growth and the U.S. personal consumption expenditure data disappointed investors. The S&P/TSX Composite Index ended Friday’s volatile session 49 points, or 0.3%, lower from its previous closing at 19,541, falling for the eighth time out of the last 10 sessions.
On the one hand, healthcare and technology stocks witnessed recovery. On the other hand, weak GDP data worried investors about slowing economic growth, leading to a selloff in other key market sectors like energy, utilities, and financials.
With this, the main TSX index ended September 2023 with 3.7% losses, posting its worst performance in four months.
Top TSX Composite movers and active stocks
Orla Mining, Energy Fuels, Denison Mines, and Brookfield Renewable Partners were the worst-performing TSX stocks in the last session, as they plunged by at least 4% each.
On the positive side, shares of Aritzia (TSX:ATZ) defied bear market gravity by gaining 5.9% for the day to settle at $23.63 per share. This rally in ATZ stock came a day after the Vancouver-based design house and apparel retailer announced its upbeat quarterly results.
In the second quarter of its fiscal year 2024 (ended in August), Aritzia’s sales grew positively by 1.7% year over year to $534.2 million, despite a mixed consumer environment. The company posted adjusted quarterly earnings of three cents per share, significantly better than Bay Street analysts’ estimate of a four-cents-per-share loss. Even after the recent rally, however, ATZ stock is still down about 50% on a year-to-date basis.
Athabasca Oil, Filo, and First Quantum Minerals were also among the top performers on the Toronto Stock Exchange in the last session, as they inched up by at least 3.9% each.
Based on their daily trade volume, Baytex Energy, TC Energy, Toronto-Dominion Bank, and Canadian Natural Resources were the most active stocks on the exchange.
Crude oil and natural gas prices were trading on a slightly positive note early Monday morning. In contrast, precious metals prices were strongly bearish, trading at their multi-month lows. Given these largely weak signals, I expect the commodity-heavy TSX index to remain under pressure at the open today after ending the third quarter with 3% losses.
While no major domestic economic releases are due, Canadian investors may want to watch monthly U.S. manufacturing data and the Fed’s vice chair Michael Barr’s scheduled speech about monetary policy and financial stability closely this morning.