Stocks in Toronto took a breather from the sharp, upward pace of the last several days, with energy losses more than compensating for health-care gains.
The S&P/TSX Composite dropped 50.01 points Thursday to 21,294.64
The Canadian dollar regained 0.24 cents to 78.47 cents U.S.
Energy weighed on the index, as Arc Resources fell 46 cents, or 3.9%, to $11.41, while Birchcliff Resources slid 24 cents, or 3.6%, to $6.40.
The industrials sector also was red, with TFI International down $2.27, or 1.6%, to $141.42, while Bombardier docked two cents to 1.2%, to $1.65.
In financials, IGM Financials shed a dollar, or 2.1%, to $45.76, while Trisura Group lost 69 cents, or 1.4%, to $47.57.
Health-care issues tried to lead things upward, as Cronos Group gained 21 cents, or 4.3%, to $5.13, while Well Health Technologies gathered 20 cents, or 4.1%, to $5.07.
In gold stocks, Sandstorm Gold picked up 20 cents, or 2.6%, to $7.96, while Kinross Gold advanced 15 cents, or 2.1%, to $7.35.
In tech stocks, Lightspeed POS surged $2.20, or 4.3%, to $53.70, while Nuvei Corp. moved upward $3.02, or 3.7%, to $86.35.
The TSX Venture Exchange barreled ahead 9.66 points, or 1.1%, to 933.94.
All but three of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the green, led by health-care and gold, advancing 1.4%, with information technology ahead 0.7%.
The three laggards were energy, down 0.9%, dropping 0.4%, and financials, off 0.2%.
U.S. stocks fell Thursday ahead of the final trading day of 2021.
The Dow Jones Industrials subsided 90.16 points to 36,398.49.
The much-broader S&P 500 index subtracted 14.33 points to 4,778.73
The NASDAQ dropped 24.65 points at 15,741.56.
Thursday’s was the second-last trading session of 2021. The end of the year is a historically strong period for stocks, which has been dubbed the “Santa Claus rally.”
Biogen slid roughly 8% on Thursday after Samsung denied a report in The Korea Economic Daily that it was in talks to buy Biogen. The stock led decliners on the S&P 500 and NASDAQ. Biogen shares had surged 9.5% on Wednesday on the report.
Weak performance from semiconductor stocks weighed on the S&P 500 and NASDAQ. Micron Technology fell 2.4% and AMD dipped 2.1%. On Wednesday, Micron warned COVID closures in China are impacting the company’s production output.
Cruise line stocks took a hit after the CDC recommended Americans avoid cruise travel regardless of vaccination status. Norwegian Cruise Line retreated 2.6% and Carnival lost 1.3%.
Some travel-related stocks rebounded Thursday after seesawing in trading this week as investors monitor developments with the omicron COVID variant. Penn National Gaming gained 4.5% and led the S&P 500.
On the data front, jobless claims last week came in lower than expected, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday. Initial claims totaled 198,000 for the week ended Dec. 25, while economists surveyed by Dow Jones projected 205,000.
Prices for 10-year Treasurys regained lost strength, lowering yields to 1.51% from Wednesday’s 1.56%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices handed back one cent to $76.55 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices picked up $11.90 to $1,817.70 U.S. an ounce.