TSX Today: What to Watch for in Stocks on Friday, March 22

The TSX index hit a new closing peak as expectations of multiple rate hikes in the near term seem to have cheered investors.

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Canadian stocks climbed to their record closing highs on Thursday as investors continued to cheer expectations of multiple rate cuts in the near term based on the U.S. Fed’s latest economic projections. Despite an intraday selloff in commodity prices across the board, the S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 42 points, or 0.2%, yesterday to settle at 22,087, marking its third consecutive winning day.

Other than shares related to commodities, healthcare and technology stocks also plummeted significantly on the one hand. On the other hand, strong intraday gains in sectors like real estate, financials, and industrials drove the main TSX index to a new peak on a closing basis.

Top TSX Composite movers and active stocks

Celestica, BlackBerry, Capstone Copper, and Interfor were the top-performing TSX stocks for the day as they inched up by at least 2.8% each.

On the flip side, shares of Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX:ATD) dived by 4.2% to $78.09 per share a day after announcing its latest quarterly financial results. In the third quarter of its fiscal year 2024 (ended in January), the Laval-based convenience stores operator’s total revenue slipped by 2.2% year over year to US$19.6 billion, posting its fourth consecutive quarter of sales declines.

To add pessimism, Couche-Tard’s adjusted quarterly earnings also fell 12.2% from a year ago to US$0.65 per share as it experienced varied fuel margins across regions. The earnings not only fell short of Street analysts’ expectations of US$0.84 per share but also represented the company’s first quarterly earnings decline in nine quarters. After ending 2023 with solid 31% gains, ATD stock now trades without any major change on a year-to-date basis.

First Quantum Minerals, New Gold, and Silvercrest Metals were also among the session’s bottom performers on the Toronto Stock Exchange as they plunged by at least 3.3% each.

According to the exchange’s daily trade volume data, TC Energy, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Lundin Mining, Power Corporation of Canada, and Suncor Energy were the five most active stocks.

TSX today

Commodity prices, including crude oil and metals, were bearish early Friday morning, which could take the resource-heavy TSX benchmark lower at the open today.

Canadian investors may want to closely monitor the domestic monthly retail sales and budget balance data this morning, which could give further direction to stocks. Overall, the TSX index seems on track to end the sixth consecutive week in the green territory as it currently trades with 1.1% week-to-date gains.

Market movers on the TSX today

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 has positions in and recommends Alimentation Couche-Tard. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Fool contributor Jitendra Parashar has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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