TSX, Wall St. move lower as traders take profits a day after Trump presser
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TORONTO — Stock markets were lower Thursday as traders did some profit-taking a day after a disappointing news conference held by U.S. president-elect Donald Trump that failed to provide any fiscal policy updates.
In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index tumbled 73.38 points at 15,418.16, with most of the losses coming from the energy, real estate and financials sectors.
The Canadian dollar was ahead 0.26 of a U.S. cent at 76.15 cents US.
U.S. indexes were also in the red, as the Dow Jones industrial average fell 63.28 points to 19,891 and the S&P 500 edged down 4.88 points to 2,270.44. The Nasdaq composite dropped 16.16 points at 5,547.49.
Patrick Blais, a managing director and senior portfolio manager at Manulife Investments, said the declines indicate that investors were not pleased with Trump's hour-long presser on Wednesday.
Expectations had been high that he would address some of the policies made promised during his presidential campaign, as Trump has been interpreted as someone who is good for big business.
"The markets have been quiet bullish on the prospects of Trump moving forward on a number of initiatives, whether it be cutting corporate taxes, deregulation, and anticipating that some of those items would be addressed yesterday," said Blais.
"However the meeting was hijacked, or focused rather on the number of items that may have reminded the markets to expect the unexpected with Trump, to say the least."
Stock markets have been rising steadily for the past several weeks since his Nov. 8 victory, a phenomenon analysts have nicknamed the "Trump Rally" or the "Trump Bump."
But Blais said people are now "reassessing the popularity or pace or likelihood that the Trump administration will be pushing forward a number of the stock-friendly measures."
Investors are also taking a pause from the rally as corporate earnings season gets underway in the United States and Canada, he added.
"Everybody is looking forward to the earnings season because a lot of investors are searching for visibility that things are better or getting better," Blais said. "It won't be the numbers (that are important) but it will be the outlook that will determine general direction."
In corporate news, Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B) saw its first-quarter profit cut to less than half to $89 million as it was hurt by the demise of the video streaming service, Shomi, that it owned with Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B). Its shares dropped 1.88 per cent, or 53 cents, to $27.66.
In commodities, the February crude contract advanced 76 cents to US$53.01 per barrel, despite energy stocks on the TSX shedding 0.9 per cent.
The February gold contract rose $3.20 to US$1,199.80 an ounce, February natural gas jumped 16 cents to US$3.39 per mmBTU, and March copper contracts were up six cents to US$2.67 a pound.
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Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A headline on some previous versions wrongly said oil went down.