Equities in Canada’s main index struggled to get back to breakeven on Thursday, after spending much of the session in the green, as weakness in tech and health-care stocks overshadowed resource gains.

The S&P/TSX Composite sank 29.38 points to end Thursday at 20,739.78.

The Canadian dollar picked up 0.35 cents at 78.25 cents U.S.

In the battered tech sector, Hut 8 Mining dipped 94 cents, or 8.5%, to $10.11, while Lightspeed POS fell $3.46, or 6.4%, to $50.99.

Health-care stocks suffered, too, as Well Health Technologies handed back 21 cents, or 4.2%, to $4.78, while Tilray gave up 41 cents, or 3.9%, to $10.04.

In the industrial sector, Bombardier weakened eight cents, or 4.9%, to $1.54, while Air Canada was grounded 66 cents, or 3.2%, to $20.03.

Gold stocks, on the other hand, moved skyward, as Kinross zoomed 45 cents, or 7%, to $6.92, while B2Gold added 24 cents, or 5.2%, to $4.83.

In other resource stocks, MAG Silver grew $1.51, or 7.9%, to $20.56, while Pan American Silver gained $2.06, or 7.3%, to $30.39.

Among energy concerns, Parex Resources took on 99 cents, or 4.8%, to $21.55, while Birchcliff Energy added 16 cents, or 2.6%, to $6.43.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported wholesale sales grew 1.4% in October to the highest level on record, 11.4% higher than in February 2020.

Ontario sales and the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories sub-sector drove the increase.

A federal government advisory against traveling abroad due to the Omicron variant could lead to further confusion and cancellations ahead of the key holiday travel season, the country’s second-largest carrier said on Wednesday.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange was positive 9.14 points, or 1%, to 888.45.

All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher midday, with gold triumphing 3.4%, materials and energy each stronger 2.8%.

The three laggards were information technology, down 2%, health-care, weakening 0.7%, and real-estate, off a mere 0.04%.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks slid on Thursday as weakness among large tech stocks dragged down major market averages.

The Dow Jones Industrials finished in the red, 29.79 points at 35,897.64

The S&P 500 index shed 41.18 points by noon, to 4,668.67.

The NASDAQ jettisoned 385.15 points, or 2.5%, at 15,180.43, and is now down over 3% for the week

Thursday’s trading action was marked by struggles for some large tech names, with Apple falling more than 4% and major semiconductor stocks like AMD, off 5.7%, and Nvidia dropping 7.3%. Shares of Adobe fell after the company’s forward guidance came in lower than analysts expected.

Bank stocks helped the Dow hold up better than its counterparts, with Goldman Sachs rising 1% and JPMorgan adding 1.4%. Shares of Verizon jumped more than 4% to be one of the best performers in the Dow.

Thursday’s moves came a day after stocks rallied in the previous session as the Federal Reserve announced a more aggressive plan to wind down its asset purchases and hike rates in 2022.

The Fed will begin reducing the pace of its asset purchases in January and buy just $60 billion of bonds each month going forward, compared to $90 billion in the month of December. That decision follows recent inflation data showing a 6.8% surge in November, which is higher than expected and the fastest rate since 1982.

On the economic data front, weekly jobless claims came in slightly higher than expected, while housing starts for November were much stronger than economists projected after declining in the prior month.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys advanced, lowering yields to 1.43% from Wednesday’s 1.46%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices hiked $1.18 to $72.06 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices popped $35.20 to $1,799.70 U.S. an ounce.

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