The Canadian equities market tumbled for a second consecutive session on Tuesday, as falling commodity prices continued to weigh on sentiments, despite the release of a mixed consumer inflation report from the United States. The S&P/TSX Composite Index dived by 85 points, or 0.4%, yesterday to settle at 20,234 — erasing all its December gains.
A moderate softness in the U.S. consumer inflation annual rate to 3.1% due mainly to recent weakness in energy prices encouraged buying in consumer and industrial stocks. However, a stronger sequential increase in the price index for all items, except food and energy, worried investors. This factor, along with steep intraday declines in crude oil and natural gas prices, led to big losses in other key market sectors, including metal mining, energy, and utilities.
Top TSX Composite movers and active stocks
Stelco Holdings, GFL Environmental, and Gildan Activewear were the top-performing TSX stocks in the last session, as they inched up by at least 4.3% each.
Waste Connections (TSX:WCN) stock was also among the top performers on the Toronto Stock Exchange after it rallied for the second day in a row, extending its week-to-date gains to more than 5%. The recent rally in WCN stock started after the Woodbridge-based company entered an agreement to acquire 30 energy waste treatment and disposal facilities in Western Canada from Secure Energy Services for about $1.075 billion.
This deal is likely to expand Waste Connections’s presence in Canada, with an increased focus on waste treatment and disposal assets. The company expects the deal to close in early 2024. On a year-to-date basis, WCN stock is now up 10.2%.
In contrast, NovaGold Resources, Equinox Gold, Endeavour Silver, and Cogeco Communications tanked by at least 6% each, making them the worst-performing TSX stocks for the day.
Based on their daily trade volume, Manulife Financial, Suncor Energy, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Cenovus Energy, and Tamarack Valley Energy were the five most active stocks on the exchange.
Most commodity prices were extending their losses early Wednesday morning, after yesterday’s big declines, which could pressure the resource-heavy main TSX index at the open today. While no major domestic economic releases are due, Canadian investors will keep an eye on monthly wholesale inflation and weekly crude oil stockpile data from the United States this morning.
Later in the afternoon, the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision and economic projections could increase the market volatility in the afternoon.
On the corporate events side, the TSX-listed Dollarama (TSX:DOL) will announce its latest quarterly results on December 13. Bay Street analysts expect the Canadian value retailer to post adjusted earnings of $0.86 per share for the October quarter with $1.48 billion in revenue.