S&P/TSX composite index closes down, U.S. markets mixed

Canada’s main stock index closed lower Friday, weighed down by losses in base metal stocks, while U.S. stock markets were mixed.

s&p/tsx composite index closes down, u.s. markets mixed

Markets were generally in a slight retreat as there was little to push them higher, said Ilana Schonwetter, investment advisor and portfolio manager at BlueShore Financial.

“The markets have had such a tremendous run up that what we need now is good news to push things up,” she said.

“In other words, when there is no good news to be had, the market tends to go a little sideways or a little bit of profit taking as well.

The S&P/TSX composite index ended down 26.49 points at 21,554.86.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 15.57 points at 39,150.33. The S&P 500 index was down 8.55 points at 5,464.62, while the Nasdaq composite was down 32.23 points at 17,689.36.

The TSX came under pressure on the resource side, including energy and base metals, which points to a lower growth outlook, said Schonwetter.

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“It’s definitely a little bit of a more pessimistic outlook when we see materials and energy move down a bit, but there’s been no news this week that has been significant to the positive side or to the negative side.”

The week saw the S&P 500 hit a new high, pushing past 5,500 points, though it’s since pared some of those gains.

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On Friday, Walmart hit a new high in the U.S., while Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and Dollarama Inc. were on the rise in Canada.

“Consumers are still spending, they are just, in some cases, redirecting how they are spending their dollars. So they’re trying to stretch their dollar further,” said Schonwetter.

That was reinforced by retail sales out of Statistics Canada on Friday, that showed they rose 0.7 per cent to $66.8 billion in April, helped by higher sales at gasoline stations as well as food and beverage retailers.

While there wasn’t too much news on the week, the impending change to the capital gains tax inclusion rate in Canada on June 25 is having some effect on market activity, said Schonwetter.

“I can say that within my practice here at BlueShore, we are definitely seeing more elevated activity around people where we have analyzed and we feel that it makes more sense for them to trigger some capital gains now rather than pushing that out,” she said.

“I would encourage everybody to really evaluate with their advisor and their accountant to see how they would benefit more.”

The Canadian dollar traded for 72.98 cents US compared with 73 cents US on Thursday.

The August crude oil contract was down 56 cents at US$80.73 per barrel and the August natural gas contract was down two cents at US$2.84 per mmBTU.

The August gold contract was down US$37.80 at US$2,331.20 an ounce and the July copper contract was down 12 cents at US$4.44 a pound.

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