TSX falls despite rise in pot stocks ahead of next week's legalization

Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, October 9, 2018 5:50AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 9, 2018 6:55PM EDT

TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index lost some ground on the first day of trading after Thanksgiving even though pot stocks rose again and led the TSX heading into next week’s legalization of the substance.

The health-care subsector led the S&P/TSX composite index, rising 1.5 per cent. It was steered by Aphria Inc., Canopy Growth Corp. and Aurora Cannabis Inc., which gained between 3.4 and 6.8 per cent on heavy daily trading.

Cannabis stocks have been very volatile of late but have surged over the past three months.

“I think that’s just sentiment related to the Oct. 17 legalization date,” said Dominique Barker, Portfolio Manager, CIBC Asset Management.

Barker advised investors to be very cautious with the sector at this time as most companies are trading on hope rather than actual financial results.

“They’re overreacting to very small news.”

Overall, the TSX closed down 92.12 points Tuesday to 15,854.05, slightly above the low of 15,853.87 on 227.5 million shares traded.

Many of the other sub-sectors were essentially flat on the day with information technology leading on the downside, followed by base metals, gold, materials and consumer discretionary.

Forest products companies and autoparts makers had a down day.

Barker said there’s negative sentiment towards U.S. homebuilding, related to labour shortages, low availability of lots and rising mortgage rates. But she said the number of new households is reinforcing strong fundamental demand.

In autos, companies like Magna International, Martinrea International and Linamar Corp. were down on concerns about slowing sales in China.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 56.21 points at 26,430.57. The S&P 500 index was off 4.09 points at 2,880.34, while the Nasdaq composite was up 2.07 points at

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