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Stocks Close Near Breakeven

Nov 09, 2017 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) --

Equities in Canada's largest centre closed within spitting distance of breakeven Thursday, as resource and tech stocks took much of the brunt of the selling pressure.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index stayed negative 23.26 points to close Thursday's session at 16,082.09

The Canadian dollar gained 0.52 cents to 78.88 cents U.S.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost ground as First Quantum Minerals fell 34 cents, or 2.1%, to $16.18, while Pan Am Silver shed $1.24, or 6.1% to $19.09, following weaker-than-forecast quarterly results.

Among stricken tech stocks, BlackBerry lost 15 cents, or 1.1%, to $13.64.

Gold took some knocks, too, as Kirkland Lake Gold fell back 29 cents, or 1.6%, to $18.39, while Agnico Eagle Mines capsized 62 cents, or 1.1%, to $57.43.

Among gaining groups were consumer staples, powered in part by Loblaw Companies, which gained 54 cents to $68.05.

Among telecoms, BCE acquired 17 cents to $60.80, while TELUS grew 43 cents to $47.52.

On the economic docket, Statistics Canada reported that new house prices in Canada rose 0.2% in September, largely reflecting increases in Kelowna and Vancouver, each improving less than 1%. Builders tied the rise to improved market conditions.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange closed downward 1.51 points Thursday to 793.28

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were down on the day, most notably materials, off 0.9%, information technology, skidding 0.7%, and gold, dulling in price 0.6%.

The five gainers were led by real-estate, ahead 0.7%. consumer staples, better by 0.6%, and telecoms, improving 0.5%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. equities fell on Thursday, pulling back from record highs, on worries that a corporate tax cut could be delayed.

The Dow Jones industrial average recovered from severe lows of the day, but still negative 101.42 points to 23,461.94, with McDonald's as the biggest decliner; it fell 1.8%.

The S&P 500 declined 9.76 points to 2,584.62, with industrials as the leading decliner; the sector fell 1.3%.

Tech is by far the best-performing sector in the S&P 500 this year. The sector is up 37% in 2017, boosted by strong earnings from companies in the space.

The NASDAQ Composite dropped 39.06 points - also making its way back from the lows of the day, to 6,750.05,

A proposed plan by Senate Republicans would push slashing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% until 2019. The move contrasts with a bill working its way through the House. The proposed Senate measure would also alter the individual tax system.

Later on Thursday, Disney, Nvidia, and News Corp. will release their quarterly results. Media stocks have been in the spotlight recently as talks about deal making pick up. Earlier this week, media reported that 21st Century Fox has been in talks to sell most of its company to Disney. As for chip maker Nvidia, its stock has been on fire this year, rising 95%.

Earnings have been mostly strong this season. According to experts, 73% of S&P 500 companies that have reported have surpassed earnings expectations.

On the data front, weekly U.S. jobless claims totaled 239,000 last week, above the expected 232,000.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note lost ground picked up in the afternoon session, raising yields back to Wednesday's 2.33%.

Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices climbed 27 cents a barrel to $57.08 U.S.

Gold prices gained $2.80 an ounce to $1,286.50 U.S.

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