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Stocks Take Pasting as U.S. Fed Disappoints on Rate Cuts



Stocks on both sides of the border took separate drubbings Wednesday, as the U.S. Federal Reserve poured cold water on hopes for an imminent interest rate cut.

The TSX Composite retreated 205.99 points to close Wednesday to 21,021.88.

The Canadian dollar was down 0.24 cents at 74.38 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks got battered, most notably, Bausch Health Companies, down 46 cents, or 4.2%, to $10.50, while Tilray lost 10 cents, or 3.9%, to $2.46.

In the energy sector, Parex Resources slumped 90 cents, or 3.9%, to $22.11, while Tamarack Valley Energy faltered nine cents, or 2.8%, to $3.09.

Financial issues were poorer, especially, Brookfield Corp., sliding $1.60, or 3%, to $53.28, while Sprott Inc, dumped $1.23, or 2.5%, to $47.24.

On the economic docket, Statistics Canada reported gross domestic product grew 0.2% in November, with goods-producing industries increasing 0.6% and services-producing industries edging up 0.1%.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 8.64 points, or 1.6%, to end the session at 550.14.

All 12 subgroups were lower, with health-care down 2.1%, energy off 1.2% and financials, retreating 1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks fell on Wednesday after Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank likely wouldn’t be ready to cut rates in March.

The Dow Jones Industrials dropped sharply, 317.01 points to 38,150.30.

The S&P 500 index stumbled 79.32 points, or 1.6%, to 4,845.65.

The NASDAQ index tumbled 345.88 points, or 2.2%, to 15,164.01.

Traders were closely watching the Fed announcement for signs of when the central bank would begin to cut rates. Powell seemingly threw cold water on the markets expectation for a March cut, noting further encouraging data on inflation was needed.

Still, the central bank did do something traders wanted, which is remove the part of the statement that signaled the central bank still had a tightening bias. The Fed removed a phrase that referred to “additional policy firming.”

Alphabet dropped more than 6% and was on pace for its worst day since Oct. 25 as disappointing ad revenue overshadowed better than expected earnings and sales. Stock in peer tech firms Microsoft and AMD slipped 2% each on lower-than-expected forward guidance after posting quarterly results.

Shares of Boeing climbed nearly 6% following quarterly results that beat analyst estimates on the top and bottom line. The company has been plagued by recent issues tied to its 737 Max 9 which has pushed Boeing to focus on safety moving forward, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury popped, lowering yields to 3.93% from Tuesday’s 4.04%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices sagged $1.99 to $75.83 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices picked up $2.10 to $2,053.



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