Markets in Canada and the U.S. down Wednesday after two days of optimism

By Canadian Press

TORONTO — Markets in Canada and the U.S. closed slightly down Wednesday following two days of optimism at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Stocks were especially under pressure early in the day, however by market close indexes had recovered somewhat from deeper dips.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 135.90 points at 19,235.09 after gaining nearly 500 points on Tuesday.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 42.45 points at 30,273.87. The S&P 500 index was down 7.65 points at 3,783.28, while the Nasdaq composite was down 27.77 points at 11,148.64.

After two days of optimism in the markets at the start of the quarter, on Wednesday the rose-coloured glasses started to come off, said Lyle Stein, president of Forvest Global Wealth Management Inc.

Investors had gained confidence after the Bank of England reversed course and began buying bonds again, and Australia’s central bank went for a softer hike than expected, leading investors to wonder whether the Canadian and American central banks might blink as well, said Stein.

“This market is hypersensitive to interest rates,” he said. 

But while much could change in the coming weeks, so far Stein said the Bank of Canada appears on track to continue along its promised path, more or less.

“My sense is they will be probably less aggressive than they would have been a month ago,” he said.

Sentiment is growing that the Fed will also stick to its guns, he said. 

“Where we’ll wind up is going to be interesting.”

With OPEC plus cutting production, the recent downward pressure on inflation might ease off, said Stein, as gas has been a key driver of inflation and the cuts could mean prices at the pump will creep up again.

The November crude contract was up US$1.24 at US$87.76 per barrel and the November natural gas contract was up nine cents at US$6.93 per mmBTU.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.31 cents US compared with 73.67 cents US on Tuesday.

The December gold contract was down US$9.70 at US$1,720.80 an ounce and the December copper contract was up a penny at US$3.50 a pound.

As the final quarter advances, Stein will be watching for U.S. tech earnings as well as energy sector earnings, adding that when the banks report later this year it may shed some light on what’s coming in 2023.

“The reality is, we’re going into third-quarter earnings season. We’re going into a rising rate environment. And, you know, the two things that hurt stocks the most are lower earnings and higher interest rates,” he said.

The current market is very macro-driven, making it difficult to predict, said Stein, as the consequences of aggressive rate hikes earlier in the year make themselves known.

“We’re at the end of a credit cycle, and the ends of credit cycles never are pretty.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

The Canadian Press

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