Equities in Canada’s largest centre contented themselves with wafer-thin gains Tuesday, after a session which looked largely negative until late in the day.
The TSX barreled 2.56 points into the green to wind up Tuesday at 20,704.79.
The Canadian dollar deducted 0.04 cents to 74.96 cents U.S.
Health-care stocks proved the star of the show, with Bausch Health Companies galloping 31 cents, or 3.2%, to $10.07, while Tilray grabbed 12 cents, or 3.1%, to $3.96.
In the tech field, HUT 8 Mining ruled the roost, climbing 21 cents, or 9.7%, to $2.38, while Coveo Solutions added 21 cents, or 2.5%, $8.75.
Energy stocks were prominent, as Advantage Oil advanced 36 cents, or 4.2%, to $8.64, while Birchcliff Energy picked up 34 cents, or 4%, to $8.81.
Park Lawn Corporation was among consumer stocks feeling the bruises, 40 cents, or 1.4%, to $27.33, while Restaurant Brands dropped $2.58, or 2.8%, to $88.79, as the company missed fourth-quarter profit estimates. The company also named former chief operating officer Joshua Kobza as its new chief executive.
Gold stocks missed the mark, as Equinox Gold shed 12 cents, or 2.3%, to $5.02, while Torex Gold dipped 23 cents, or 1.4%, to $16.69.
Financials also dragged, with TMX Group behind $1.44, or 1%, to $136.68, while Canadian Western Bank let go of 22 cents to $28.08.
The TSX Venture Exchange inched up 3.77 points to 620.18.
Seven of the 12 subgroups strengthened on the day, with health-care haler 1.6%, information technology better by 1.3%, and energy ahead 0.6%.
The five laggards were dragged lower by consumer discretionary, off 0.7%, as well as gold, behind 0.4%, and financials, poorer by 0.1%.
Stocks wavered Tuesday and the Dow Jones Industrials fell, reversing earlier gains, after the January consumer price index report showed that inflation grew at higher-than-expected annual rate.
The 30-stock index came off its lows of the afternoon, but still finished way below breakeven, off 156.14 points, to conclude Tuesday at 34,089.79.
The S&P 500 was also red, but only 1.11 points to 4,136.18.
The NASDAQ Composite found its footing and marched 68.36 points to 11,960.15, boosted by technology stocks including Tesla which rose more than 7%, and Nvidia, up 5%.
A stubbornly high inflation reading initially sent stocks sliding. The consumer price index rose 0.5% for the month, which translated to an annual gain of 6.4%. That was slightly higher than economist estimates of the basket of goods and services rising 0.4% on the month and 6.2% on the year, according to a survey by Dow Jones.
In addition, the December report was revised to show a slight gain instead of a decline.
Before the number was released, JPMorgan’s trading desk predicted that an annual increase of 6.4% to 6.5% would trigger an S&P 500 loss of about 1.5% on Tuesday. It was better than worst fears of a greater than 6.5% annual increase, an acceleration in inflation that would have triggered an S&P 500 decline of 2.5%, JPMorgan predicted.
Beyond the CPI, investors will also be watching for earnings for insights into the health of the consumer. Kraft Heinz, Boston Beer and DoorDash are all scheduled to report this week.
Prices for the 10-year Treasury fell, raising yields to 3.75% from Monday’s 3.71%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices weakened 98 cents to $79.16 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices regained three dollars to $1,866.50 U.S. an ounce.