The Canadian stock market trended upward for the fifth session in a row, as cooler wholesale inflation and better-than-expected retail sales numbers from the U.S. market kept optimism alive, despite largely weakening commodity prices. The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced by 34 points, or 0.2%, on Wednesday to settle at 20,058.
Even as consumer noncyclical and commodity-related stocks witnessed losses, strong buying in other key market sectors, like healthcare, technology, and utilities, drove the TSX index higher.
Top TSX Composite movers and active stocks
Tilray, Interfor, Canfor, Capstone Copper, Linamar, and Bombardier were the top-performing TSX stocks yesterday, as they inched up by at least 4% each.
In contrast, Metro (TSX:MRU) plunged 6.8% to $70.43 per share, making it the worst-performing TSX stock for the day. These losses in MRU stock came after the Montréal-headquartered retailer and distributor announced weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter financial results for its fiscal year 2023.
In the quarter ended in September 2023, Metro’s total revenue climbed up 14.4% year over year to $5.1 billion with the help of 6.8% and 5.5% increase in its same-store sales for food and pharmacy segments, respectively. However, its adjusted quarterly earnings rose at a slower pace of 7.6% from a year ago to $0.99 per share due partly to the negative impact of a labour conflict at 27 Metro stores in the Greater Toronto Area. Its quarterly earnings figure was also lower than Street analysts’ $1.07 per share expectations. On a year-to-date basis, MRU stock now trades with about 6% losses.
Shares of Birchcliff Energy and SNC-Lavalin Group were also among the bottom performers on the Toronto Stock Exchange yesterday as they dived by at least 5.3% each.
Based on their daily trade volume, Enbridge, Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, and Magna International were the most heavily traded stocks on the exchange.
Precious metals prices were trading on a firm note early Friday morning, but crude oil and base metals were showcasing weakness. Given these mixed signals from the commodities market, I expect the main TSX index to remain flat at the open today.
While no major domestic economic releases are due, Canadian investors may want to keep an eye on monthly manufacturing and weekly jobless claims figures from the United States this morning. Although the third-quarter earnings season has nearly ended, TSX stocks may still remain volatile, as investors continue to react to the recently released key U.S. inflation data.