News Column

Equities drop as Argentina defaults

July 31, 2014

Health-care takes hit

Canada's main stock index declined on Thursday as Argentina's default kindled worries about the stability of the economic recovery in the region and shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International fell after the company cut its outlook.

Further, geopolitical tensions remained high as Russia announced measures to try to counter U.S. And European sanctions over Ukraine.

The S&P/TSX composite index plunged 248.27 points, or 1.6%, by noon to at 15,276.55.

The Canadian dollar nicked ahead 0.09 cents at 91.82 cents U.S.

Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years after hopes for a midnight deal with holdout creditors were dashed.

Investors tried to gauge the effect of the news on broader financial markets and economies beyond Argentina, and the uncertainty resulted in a spike in volatility.

Shares of energy producers slumped as Canadian Natural Resources lost 1.7% to $48.05, and Talisman Energy Inc fell 2.7% to $11.54.

Suncor Energy reported a drop in second-quarter profit late on Wednesday, and its shares shed 2.1% to $44.82.

Valeant, embroiled in a battle to take over Botox-maker Allergan Inc, cut its full-year profit and revenue forecasts to reflect the sale of its rights to several skincare products. The stock tumbled 7.4% to $127.32.

Open Text Corp reported on Wednesday a better-than-expected 42% jump in quarterly revenue, largely driven by higher demand for its cloud services. Shares of the business software maker shot up 14.6% to $60.69.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported this morning that real gross domestic product rose 0.4% in May, a fifth consecutive monthly increase. The output of service industries grew 0.4% and the output of goods-producing industries increased 0.5%.


The TSX Venture Exchange lost 9.52 points to 1,001.58

All but one of the 14 Toronto subgroups were lower, as health-care took a 3.2% bath, metals and mining slid 2.4%, and energy retreated 2.3%.

Only information technology stocks prevailed, gaining 2.3%.


Thursday is shaping up to be the worst day for stocks in three months.

The Dow Jones Industrials plummeted 229.49 points, or 1.4%, to 16,650.87

The S&P 500 fell 32.14 points, or 1.6%, to 1,937.93. The NASDAQ composite reversed 89.17 points, or 2%, to 4,373.73.

Yum Brands, the conglomerate behind KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, reported disappointing earnings last night and lowered its guidance after its second tainted Chinese meat scandal in as many years. The stock dropped 5% today.

Whole Foods is also hurting. Despite reporting good earnings, the company disappointed on sales and also cut its outlook guidance once again, raising questions about the company's future direction. Its shares, which have been among the worst performers this year, are down more than 3%.

3-D printing stocks are sinking after a poor earnings report from 3D Systems. Its shares dived 10.5% and that put pressure on rivals voxelJet, Stratasys and ExOne

A few big names are managing to cut through the chaos. T-Mobile was up 6% following reports that French telecom firm Iliad extended a buyout offer. Sprint, long considered a potential merger partner, is down 3%.

Vistaprint surprised analysts by turning a profit on strong sales, skyrocketing 29%.

And red hot grilled chicken IPO El Pollo Loco was up 10% today.

Glu Mobile developed a wildly popular game based around celebrity Kim Kardashian, but Wall Street isn't impressed. Even though results beat expectations, the stock is down 19% after announcing that it was buying Cie Games for $100 million U.S.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries regained strength, lowering yields to Wednesday's 2.55%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dropped $1.10 to $99.17 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices backpedaled eight dollars to $1,286.90 U.S. an ounce.

For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel

Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)

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