P.M. market numbers: October 1, 2009

By Staff | October 1, 2009 | Last updated on October 1, 2009
4 min read
| North American markets | International markets | Bonds | Currency | Commodities |

North American stock markets kicked off fourth-quarter trading with a bad stumble Thursday as the latest batch of American economic data revived doubts about the strength of an economic rebound.

The S&P/TSX composite index was hit particularly hard by a sharp selloff in the mining and energy sectors and tumbled 323.2 points or 2.84% to 11,071.76.

New York’s Dow Jones industrials dropped 203 points or 2.09% to 9,509.28 after the Institute for Supply Management reported that its September index for the U.S. manufacturing sector fell to 52.6 from 52.9 in August, sharply lower than the 54 reading that economists had expected.

It was the second dismal report on U.S. manufacturing in as many days. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, a snapshot of American manufacturing in the Midwest, slipped back into contraction in September.

The drop in the ISM manufacturing index ended eight straight months of gains. But analysts pointed out that at least the sector was still well above 50, which still signals growth.

"Everybody seems to want to concentrate on the negative and when they get negative, that’s what they do, get out the sell ticket," said Fred Ketchen, manager of equity trading at Scotia Capital.

"I’m more interested in the expansion — the pace will pick up in time."

On the TSX, the energy sector dropped 3.5% even as oil prices built slightly on Wednesday’s rebound of almost US$4 a barrel that came from data showing a rise in crude oil stocks but also an increase in gasoline demand. On Thursday, the November crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 21 cents to US$70.82. Canadian energy heavyweight EnCana Corp. lost $1.90 to C$60.10 and Suncor Inc. declined $1.66 to $35.74.

The Canadian dollar was volatile for a second day, falling 1.19 cents to 92.21 cents US, after surging commodity prices helped push the loonie up 1.28 cents Wednesday.

The TSX Venture Exchange was down 28.5 points to 1,248.71.

Other New York indexes fell sharply as first-time claims for jobless benefits in the U.S. rose more than expected last week.

The U.S. Labour Department said initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to a seasonally adjusted 551,000 from 534,000 in the previous week. Wall Street economists had expected an increase of 5,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

The Nasdaq composite index fell 64.94 points to 2,057.48 while the S&P 500 lost 27.23 points to 1,029.85.

The manufacturing and jobless insurance reports added urgency to emerging questions about the health of the economy just as the U.S. Labour Department prepared to deliver its monthly jobs report Friday, one of the most important events on the economic calendar.

Economists have predicted that unemployment, which stands at a 26-year high of 9.7%, will rise to 9.8% for September. Employers were expected to have cut 180,000 jobs in September, down from 216,000 in August.

Christian Bendixen, director of technical research at Bay Crest Partners LLC in New York, said recent economic numbers have reminded investors that a recovery in the economy will be difficult.

"For the first time in a while they’re coming in a little bit lower than expectations and I think that’s scaring a few investors," he said.

Other data showed that U.S. consumer spending, propelled by the wildly popular Cash for Clunkers auto sales program, shot up 1.3% in August, the largest amount in nearly eight years. That was better than the 1.1% gain that had been expected.

However, incomes continued to lag, edging up 0.2% in August, the same as the July increase.

Automakers reported sharply lower September sales after getting a big lift in July and August from the U.S. government’s Cash for Clunkers program.

GM’s sales plunged 45% to 155,679 vehicles last month. Ford reported sales fell 5.1% to 114,241 in September, but the decline followed two straight months of rising sales. Chrysler sold only 62,197 vehicles last month, down 42% from the prior year.

The TSX base metals sector was down 4.27% as the December copper contract in New York declined 8.2 cents at US$2.74 a pound. Teck Resources dipped $1.26 to C$28.24 on the TSX, while HudBay Minerals gave back 60 cents to $12.30.

The gold sector faded 3.7% with the December gold contract in New York down $8.60 to US$1,000.70 an ounce. Barrick Gold lost $1.33 to C$39.21.

While commodity stocks led the retreat, all TSX sectors were negative.

The financial sector was down 2.5% as TD Bank fell $2.55 to $66.70 and Manulife Financial shed 60 cents to $21.90.

In corporate news, a new investment fund managed by Onex Corp. will offer trust units in a public offering. The new OCP Credit Strategy Fund will invest in debt obligations with credit ratings that are considered to be below investment grade. Onex shares were ahead 47 cents to $26.71.


North American markets Back to Top
Close Change YTD
Dow Jones 9,509.28 -203.00 or -2.09% +8.35%
S&P 500 1,029.85 -27.23 or -2.58% +14.02%
NASDAQ 2,057.48 -64.94 or -3.06% +30.47%
TSX Composite 11,071.76 -323.20 or -2.84% +23.19%

International markets Back to Top
Close Change YTD
Nikkei 9,978.64 -154.59 or -1.53% +12.63%
Hang Seng 20,955.25 Closed +46.65%
SENSEX 17,134.55 +7.71 or +0.05% +77.61%
FTSE 100 5,047.81 -86.09 or -1.68% +13.84%
CAC 40 3,720.77 -74.64 or -1.97% +15.62%
DAX 5,554.55 -120.61 or -2.13% +15.47%

Bonds Back to Top
Bonds $Current $Previous %Yield
Cdn. 10-year bond 104.05 103.68 3.26
Cdn. 30-year bond 120.30 119.84 3.81
U.S. 10-year bond 103.63 102.72 3.19
U.S. 30-year bond 109.34 107.94 3.96

Currency Back to Top
BoC Close Today Previous
Canadian $ 0.9221 0.9340
US $ 1.0845 1.0707

Euro Spot Rate Today Previous
Canadian $ 0.6351 0.6385
Euro 1.5744 1.5662

Commodities Back to Top
Gold AM PM
London Gold Fix ($US) $1,005.75 $1,004.75

Oil Close Change
WTI Crude Future (US) $68.85 -$0.22 or -0.32%


Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.