Whatever positive vibes felt by Canadian investors soon went south as morning became afternoon Tuesday, with health-care stocks weighing on the rest of the market.
The TSX Composite handed back gains of 97.61 points to move into noon hour at 21,028.75.
The Canadian dollar lost 0.2 cents to 78.75 cents U.S.
Banks ruled the roost Tuesday in terms of attention. Bank of Montreal beat analysts’ estimates for first-quarter profit on Tuesday, driven by strength in the lender’s capital markets unit.
BMO shares lost 15 cents to $144.58, after beginning the session on an upbeat.
Bank of Nova Scotia beat market estimates for first-quarter profit on Tuesday, driven by strong mortgage and commercial loan growth that boosted its international banking segment.
Scotiabank shares shed 59 cents to $91.26.
Cannabis stocks took it on the chin Tuesday, as Aurora Cannabis lost 17 cents, or 3.5%, to $4.65.
Canopy Growth shares dipped 35 cents, or 3.9%, to $8.69.
On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada reported real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.6% in the fourth quarter of 2021, following a 1.3% rise in the third quarter.
The agency went on to say real GDP posted a strong 4.6% growth in 2021, after the COVID-19 pandemic-induced decline (-5.2%) in 2020.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will supply anti-tank weapons and upgraded ammunition to Ukraine to support its fight against a Russian invasion, and it will ban imports of Russian crude oil.
The TSX Venture added 4.65 points to 854.22.
Of the 12 TSX subgroups, eight were in negative territory, as health-care withered 2.7%, consumer discretionary stocks dropped 2.2%, and financials were 1.5% poorer.
The four gainers were led by gold, better by 2.8%, energy, gushing 1.6%, and materials, picking up 1.4%.
U.S. stocks slid on the first day of March as oil prices surged and investors continue to monitor the fighting between Russia and Ukraine.
The Dow Jones Industrials weakened 696.72 points, or 2.1%, midday Tuesday to 33,195.88
The S&P 500 stumbled 72.09 points, or 1.7%, to 4,301.85
The NASDAQ Composite Index subtracted 199.11 points, or 1.5%, to 13,552.28.
Financial stocks were some of the biggest losers on Tuesday, with Bank of America down 4.5%, Wells Fargo off 4.8% and Charles Schwab tumbling more than 6%.
The lower bond yields could potentially take a bite out of bank profits, while the conflict in Eastern Europe and sanctions on Russia have some traders worried about disruption in credit markets.
Some of the early stock losses were offset by strong Target earnings, as the big box retailer posted profit of $3.19 a share that was well ahead of Wall Street estimates. Shares jumped nearly 12%.
As corporate earnings season winds down, cloud giant Salesforce reports results after the close.
The decline in stocks came as satellite cameras captured a convoy of Russian military vehicles apparently on its way to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.
The continued aggression from Russia pushed energy prices higher. West Texas Intermediate crude futures jumped 5% on Tuesday morning, breaking above $101 per barrel and hitting its highest level in seven years.
On the economic front, construction spending data for January came in well above expectations, while purchasing manager’s index readings from the Institute for Supply Management and Markit were both roughly in line with estimates.
Prices for the 10-year Treasury gained sharply, lowering yields to 1.71% from 1.83% on Monday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
The price of oil leaped $10.28 to $106.00 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices hiked $34.60 to $1,935.30 U.S. per ounce.