Bay Street stocks closed modestly lower for a second straight session on Tuesday and slipped further off a five-month high. The market saw some further weakness amid swine flu fears as traders mulled over the latest in economic news.
The S&P/Composite Index declined 46.77 points or 0.49% to 9,348.03. Bay Street's main index recovered some of its earlier losses after hitting a six-day low earlier in the day. The index had climbed above 9,500 last week.
The Gold Index fell 2.4%, while materials stocks dropped 1.6%, following gold prices on the Comex. Among the big names, New Gold (NGD.TO) dropped 4.3%, Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) fell 3.1%, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) slipped 2.9% and Goldcorp (G.TO) lost 2.5%.
June gold dropped to $893.60, down $14.60 on the session. Prices dropped as low as $885.50 early in the session.
Energy stocks fell 1.2% as crude for June settlement dropped to $49.92, down 22 on the session. Prices fell as low as $48.55 in the early going.
OPTI Canada (OPC.TO) plunged 8.2% after the company reported first quarter net loss of C$97 million or C$0.50 per share, compared to restated net loss of C$6 million or C$0.03 per share last year.
Husky Energy (HSE.TO) dropped 2.25% after the company reported net earnings of $328 million or $0.39 per share for the first quarter of 2009, down from $888 million or $1.05 per share in the prior-year quarter.
Petro-Canada (PCA.TO) was generally flat after it reported first quarter operating earnings of C$111 million or C$0.23 per share, down from C$899 million or C$1.86 per share in the last year comparable quarter.
Nexen (NXY.TO) fell 0.8% after reporting first-quarter net income attributable to Nexen of C$135 million or C$0.26 per share, compared to net income of C$630 million or C$1.19 per share in the same quarter last year.
In other corporate news, Héroux-Devtek (HRX.TO) gained 4.2% after the company announced that Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company has awarded the aerostructure division of Héroux-Devtek (Progressive Inc.), another multi-year contract to manufacture complex structural machined parts and assemblies for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.
QLT Inc. (QLT.TO) slipped 0.4% after the company reported first quarter net income of US$1.30 million or US$0.02 per share, compared to a net loss of US$10.47 million or US$0.14 per share last year.
Shoppers Drug Mart (SC.TO) added 1.6% after reporting first-quarter earnings of C$0.49 per share, compared to C$0.46 per share a year ago.
Across the border, a report from the Conference Board showed that consumer confidence for March rose far more than expected, while a report from Standard and Poor's showed a slowing pace of contraction in home prices in February.
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