S&P/TSX composite down more than 200 points as price of oil falls

The S&P TSX composite index screen at the TMX Market Centre in downtown Toronto is photographed on Friday, Nov.11, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin. TIJ

Canada’s main stock index was down more than 200 points as the price of oil fell and losses in energy, financial and base metal stocks helped lead the way lower, while U.S. markets were mixed.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 228.25 points at 19,739.70.

In New York, where markets had been closed Monday for Memorial Day,the Dow Jones industrial average was down 50.56 points at 33,042.78. The S&P 500 index was up 0.07 points at 4,205.52, while the Nasdaq composite was up 41.74 points at 13,017.43.

“It’s really just a continuation of the trends that we’ve seen in recent weeks,” said Stephen Duench, vice-president and portfolio manager for AGF Investments Inc.

Investors are continuing to gravitate toward big tech names, especially those involved in artificial intelligence, said Duench.

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“It’s just like a race to (see) how big and how narrow the top of the market can be.”

Chipmaker Nvidia Corp. joined other giants like Alphabet, Apple and Microsoft in reaching a USD$1 trillion valuation, after its earnings last week exceeded expectations, sending its share price soaring. Shares in the company were up almost three per cent Tuesday.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials reached a deal on the debt ceiling over the weekend, ending a period of uncertainty that had been hanging on markets as the deadline neared, though the deal still needs to be passed.

While there’s some “incremental optimism” over the debt-ceiling deal that likely is leading to a rally in bonds, Duench said he had expected more positivity on the markets Tuesday following news that a deal had been reached.

In Canada, the TSX saw a broad decline led by energy stocks as the price of oil dropped below USD$70.

“The TSX has been a significant laggard in recent weeks and months,” Duench said.

All eyes will be on OPEC plus this weekend, said Duench, as the group is set to meet June 4 and speculation is swirling about potential production cuts.

Investors are awaiting payroll data in the U.S. Friday, said Duench, as uncertainty continues to hang on the market ahead of the Federal Reserve’s next interest rate decision.

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And a new report in the U.S. saw consumer confidence tick downward in May, but beat expectations, leaving the market with a “messy” batch of data, said Duench.

“I wouldn’t say that was completely catastrophic,” he said.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.54 cents UScompared with 73.57 cents US on Monday.

The July crude contract was down US$3.21 from Friday at US$69.46 per barreland the July natural gas contract was down nine cents from Friday at US$2.33 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract was up US$14.00 from Friday at US$1,977.10 an ounce and the July copper contract was down two cents from Friday at US$3.66 a pound.

— With files from The Associated Press

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