(CORRECTS DIRECTION OF TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE. THE INDEX LOST 1.7%)
Investors displayed their nerves Monday, pretty much all throughout North America, as uncertainty lingered over the newest strain of the coronavirus and cases piled up.
The S&P/TSX Composite doffed 142.17 points to close Monday at 20,748.45.
The Canadian dollar ditched 0.53 cents at 78.03 cents U.S.
Energy faltered the worst Monday, with Enerplus down 70 cents, or 5.1%, to $12.96, while Crescent Point Energy dropped 29 cents, or 4.3%, to $6.45.
Industrials also weighed, with Westport Fuel off eight cents, or 2.7%, to $2.85, while Air Canada skidded 73 cents, or 3.3%, to $21.19.
Techs also stalled with Hut 8 Mining negative by 69 cents, or 6.2%, to $10.46, while Shopify moved lower $10.46, or 3.5%, to $1,793.16.
Golds did their best to level things out, with Novagold up 36 cents, or 4.1%, to $9.14, while Kirkland Lake Gold advancing $1.34, or 2.8% to $49.51.
In other resource stocks, Turquoise Hill Resource jumped $2.51, or 13.5%, to $21.12, while Ivanhoe Mines took on 38 cents, or 3.8%, to $10.31.
Utilities were also positive, as Algonquin Power and Utilities progressed 29 cents, or 1.6%, to $17.94, while Innergex Renewable Energy took on 34 cents, or 1.9%, to $18.50.
The TSX Venture Exchange stumbled 15.41 points, or 1.7%, to 893.58.
Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were lower on the day, with energy weakening 2.6%, industrials off 1.5%, and information technology backtracking 1.3%.
The five gainers were led by gold, up 1.8%, while materials advanced 0.8%, and utilities bettered themselves 0.6%.
The S&P 500 pulled back Monday as investors remained cautious about how the omicron variant will affect the economy and what the Federal Reserve will announce Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrials plummeted 320.04 points to 35,650.95, dragged down by a 3.7% drop in Boeing’s stock.
The S&P 500 index dropped 43.05 points to 4,668.97.
The NASDAQ sank 217.32 points, or 1.4%, at 15,413.28.
Reopening plays like airlines and cruise lines were some of the biggest losers on Monday. American Airlines fell 4.9%, and Delta Air Lines dropped 3.4%. United Airlines lost 5.2%. Carnival Corp. ticked about 4.9% lower.
On the positive side, Moderna shares rose 5.8% a day after the White House’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci called Covid booster shots “optimal care,” but said the definition of fully vaccinated would not change.
Israeli researchers at the Sheba Medical Center and the Health Ministry’s Central Virology Laboratory concluded on Saturday that the three-shot course of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was effective against the new omicron variant. Pfizer shares rose 4%.
As of Sunday, the U.S. was approaching 800,000 coronavirus-related deaths. The new variant has pushed some government officials to reinstate health restrictions to slow the spread.
Prices for 10-year Treasurys popped, dropping yields to 1.42% from Friday’s 1.49%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices lost 38 cents to $71.29 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices added $2.90 to $1,787.80 U.S. an ounce.