North American stock markets fall to end losing week amid mounting concerns
North American stock markets fell to end a losing week as mounting concerns over the global economy gave investors pause.
Markets moved higher over the past few months, even without much news to drive the gain.
“Now it seems like maybe some seasonal factors (were) at play, it seems like the path of least resistance at least the last four days on really not a whole lot of news ... seems to be down,” said Allan Small, senior investment adviser at IA Private Wealth.
“People are asking if strong numbers, including corporate earnings, from a month ago are as good as it gets? Is COVID-19 going to play a factor going forward with higher infections causing some businesses to struggle?”
“The market is asking those questions and not excited about what they see at the moment,” he said in an interview. “September is usually a difficult month and I think investors are looking for an excuse to perhaps take some money off the table at least for the time being.”
Small said many investors are also taking a cautious approach until there's more news about the timing for central banks finally raising interest rates.
“I'm of the belief that if we can have a better winter in terms of COVID spread, if we can keep things under control and we can go through the winter and not shut down again. I think interest rates will have to rise sooner than than the Fed is indicating right now.”
The S&P/TSX composite index was down 72.21 points at 20,663.06 for 0.76 per cent drop on the week.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 271.66 points at 34,607.72. The S&P 500 index was down 34.70 points at 4,458.58, while the Nasdaq composite was down 132.76 points at 15,115.49.
A strong Canadian jobs report for August prompted a small move by the loonie.
The Canadian dollar traded for 79.17 cents US compared with 79.03 cents US on Thursday, but down from 79.88 last Friday.
Canada's economy finished a sizzling summer by adding 90,200 jobs in August, the third consecutive monthly increase that brought the country as close as it has been to recouping historic employment losses last year.
The unemployment rate fell to 7.1 per cent for the month, compared with 7.5 per cent in July, bringing the rate to the lowest level since the onset of the pandemic last year.
Small said recent negative GDP numbers have prompted investors to wonder why Canada isn't doing as well as the U.S.
He believes the difference can be attributed to Canada's more conservative approach to economic reopening.
Energy was one of three sectors to be up on the day.
It gained a bit as crude oil prices rose on falling inventories even as natural gas prices pulled back from a more than seven-year high.
The October crude contract was up US$1.58 at US$69.72 per barrel and the October natural gas contract was down 9.3 cents at US$4.94 per mmBTU.
Tourmaline Oil Corp. was up 2.5 per cent while Whitecap Resources Inc. climbed 2.4 per cent.
Technology was marginally higher, along with consumer discretionary.
Health care lost the most ground, falling two per cent with shares of several cannabis companies decreasing.
Canopy Growth Corp., Aurora Cannabis Inc.,and Tilray Inc. fell 3.9, 3.6 and 3.1 per cent, respectively.
Materials was also lower as gold prices fell.
The December gold contract was down US$7.90 at US$1,792.10 an ounce and the December copper contract was up 16.7 cents at US$4.45 a pound.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 10, 2021.