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Stocks Struggle by Midday



Canada’s main stock index edged lower on Thursday, dragged down by losses in energy shares, as hopes for a June rate cut waned.

The TSX Composite tumbled 147.67 points midday Thursday to 22,051.46.

The Canadian dollar ditched 0.12 at 72.93 cents U.S.

Health-care issues pushed higher, even though pulled down by a decline of 15 cents, or 5.3%, in pot firm Tilray Brands to $2.62.

In Canadian corporate news, shares of Toromont Industries slid $3.60, or 2.7%, to $131.25, after brokerage Raymond James downgraded the heavy equipment producer to “market perform” from “outperform”.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange fell 1.74 points to 585.56.

All but two of the 12 TSX subgroups were in the red by lunch hour, with energy capsizing 1.4%, industrials sliding 0.9%, and materials retreating 0.7%.

The two gainers were health-care, up 0.6%, and gold, eking up 0.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for a fourth day Thursday, as concern over inflation dented investor sentiment.

Even so, the 30-stock index had rallied to within 110.85 points of breakeven by noon EDT to 38,350.66.

The S&P 500 index eked out gains of 7.28 points to 5,167.92.

The NASDAQ strengthened 106.93 points to 16,277.29.

The early stages of earnings season continue Thursday, with CarMax falling more than 11% after disappointing on both top and bottom lines.

The unofficial start to the period commences with big bank earnings from JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup on Friday.

The producer price index reading for March came in below estimates, providing some relief after Wednesday’s selloff on a faster-than-expected rise in prices for consumer goods and services. Wholesale prices rose 0.2% in March, while economists polled by Dow Jones expected 0.3% growth. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.2%, in line with forecasts.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury hesitated, raising yields to 4.57% from Wednesday’s 4.55%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices lost 75 cents to $85.46 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices brightened $13.70 to $2,362.10 U.S. an ounce.



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