TSX Fails To Hold Early Gains, Ends Flat

The Canadian market ended ended flat on Friday with stocks turning in a mixed performance. Energy stocks moved higher, while information technology stocks declined.

A few stocks from the financial sector posted strong gains, while utilities and consumer staples shares drifted lower.

A buoyant jobs data lifted the market early on in the session, but stocks kept paring gains as the session progressed.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which advanced to 20,510.74 early on in the session, settled for the day at 20,416.31, up 0.10 from the previous close. The index gained 1.3% in the week.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO) and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) gained 2.9% and 2.7%, respectively. Birchcliff Energy (BIR.TO) gained 2.1%, while Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) and Parex Resources (PXT.TO) climbed 1.3 to 2.1%.

Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO), CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Laurentian Bank (LB.TO), Onex Corp (ONEX.TO), Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) were among the notable gainers in the financial section.

In the information technology section, Dye & Durham (DND.TO) declined 5.8% after the company said it would not opt for any strategic changes including a sale. Lightspeed Pos (LSPD.TO) tumbed more than 7%. Nuvei Corp (NVEI.TO) and BlackBerry (BB.TO) ended lower by 3.7% and 3%, respectively.

Mty Food Group Inc. (MTY.TO) shares shed 5.6% despite reporting a surge in earnings. The company reported third-quarter net income of $24.3 million or $0.98 per diluted share, up from a net income of $22.9 million or $0.93 per diluted share a year ago.

Data released by Statistics Canada showed the Canadian economy added a net 157,000 jobs in September, as against an expected addition of 65,000 jobs. The economy saw an expansion in the workforce for the fourth consecutive month.

The unemployment rate in Canada declined to 6.9% in September, falling for the fourth straight month. In August the unemployment rate came in 7.1.

The U.S. saw a weaker than expected increase in non-farm payrolls in the month of September, data from the Labor Department showed. The report said non-farm payroll employment rose by 194,000 jobs in September after climbing by an upwardly revised 366,000 jobs in August.

Economists had expected employment to jump by 500,000 jobs compared to the addition of 235,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the much weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8% in September from 5.2% in August. The unemployment rate was expected to edge down to 5.1%.

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