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S&P/TSX composite drifts lower Wednesday, U.S. markets also down

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

TORONTO — Losses in tech, utilities and industrials weighed down gains in some of the other sectors on Canada's main stock index Wednesday, while U.S. markets were also down, dragged lower by the tech sector as shares in Google's parent company took a dive. 

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 45.46 points at 20,679.54.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 207.68 points at 33,949.01. The S&P 500 index was down 46.14 points, or 1.1 per cent, at 4,117.86,while the Nasdaq composite was down 203.27 points, or 1.7 per cent, at 11,910.52.

Markets were "all over the place" Wednesday, said Michael Currie, senior investment adviser at TD Wealth. Earnings were also a mixed bag, he added.

However, investor reaction to earnings releases were difficult to read Wednesday, noted Currie, who speculated investors may be buying some dips and taking profits on the winners. 

Shares in Google parent company Alphabet slid Wednesday, which likely accounted for much of the losses on the Nasdaq, said Currie.

The company saw its stock price plunge 7.7 per cent after its chatbot “Bard” failed to impress. Alphabet Inc. is one of the biggest companies on the Nasdaq, under only Apple and Microsoft, which were also down, but by far smaller percentages. 

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.47 cents US compared with 74.43 cents US on Tuesday.

The Bank of Canada for the first time released a summary of the deliberations that led to its most recent interest rate decision. Markets didn’t have a strong reaction to the summary, which didn’t hold any surprises, said Currie.

The deliberations saw the central bank’s governing council discuss the housing market, inflation, global uncertainty and other factors as it determined whether to raise interest rates, deciding in the end to announce a hike by a quarter of a percentage point. 

Macroeconomic conditions are still the focus for investors over individual companies, said Currie, and markets seem to be pricing in one or even two rate cuts near the end of the year, which he thinks is a little optimistic. 

The March crude contract was up US$1.33 cents at US$78.47 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was down 19 cents at US$2.40 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was up US$5.90 at US$1,890.70 an ounce and the March copper contract was down five cents at US$4.04 a pound.

— With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2023.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press

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