Weakness in energy shares dragged equities in Toronto to their lowest level in more than a year on Thursday, as fears of a recession loomed following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s biggest interest-rate increase since 1994.
The S&P/TSX slumped 520.56 points, or 2.7%, to pause for lunch hour Thursday at 19,091.
The Canadian dollar retreated 0.39 cents to 77.29 cents U.S.
Cannabis concerns moved south, with Aurora Cannabis dropped nine cents, or 5.2%, to $1.64.
Shares of LifeWorks jumped $12.37, or 68% to $30.57, the top of the index, after Telus agreed to buy the company in a $2.9-billion deal.
For its part, Telus shed $1.34, or 4.6%, to $28.03.
On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported wholesale trade fell 0.5% in April to $79.8 billion, the second decrease in the past three months.
The TSX Venture Exchange tumbled 18.43 points, or 2.8%, to 637.22.
All but one of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the red by noon hour EDT, weighed most by energy, down 4.1%, while real-estate and health-care stocks each fell 3.6%.
Only a 1.5% surge by gold stocks prevented unanimity.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled below the key 30,000 level on Thursday as investors worried the Federal Reserve’s more aggressive approach toward inflation would bring the economy into a recession.
The 30-stock index staggered 695.61 points, or 2.3%, to break for noon hour at 29,972.92, after the Fed announced its largest rate hike since 1994, but reversed those gains and then some on Thursday, tumbling to the lowest level since January 2021.
While 30,000 isn’t necessarily a technical level for the Dow, these round 1,000-point thresholds are seen by many on Wall Street as key psychological levels for the market.
The S&P 500 ditched 119.58 points, or 3.2%, to 3,670.41.
The NASDAQ Composite retreated 437.61 points, or 4%, to 10,661.55.
It’s been a rough week, the Dow entering Thursday’s session down 4.7%, while the S&P and the NASDAQ gave up 6% each, for the week and well below record levels.
Home Depot, Intel, Walgreens, JPMorgan, 3M, and American Express hit new 52-week lows amid growing recession fears while tech shares dropped after a bounce on Wednesday. Amazon, Apple and Netflix all slid more than 3%. Tesla shed more than 6% and Nvidia dropped more than 5%.
Travel stocks including United, Delta and Carnival also took a leg lower.
Staples stocks, known for their steady cash flows that could hold up during recessions, traded into the green or near the flatline. Procter & Gamble gained 1.6%. Colgate-Palmolive and Walmart were slightly higher.
Data out Thursday further indicated a dramatic slowdown in economic activity. Housing starts dropped 14% in May, topping the 2.6% decline expected by economists polled by Dow Jones.
Treasury prices were lower, raising yields to 3.34% from Wednesday’s 3.28%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices recovered 44 cents to $115.75 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices galloped $28.10 to $1,847,70 U.S. an ounce.