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Canadian Market Down In Negative Territory As Technology, Healthcare Stocks Slide

After opening slightly up and moving a bit higher, the Canadian stock market faltered Tuesday morning, led by losses in healthcare, information technology and consumer discretionary shares.

While higher crude oil prices aided sentiment, data showing a wider trade deficit weighed on the market.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was down 100.11 points or 0.5% at 19,113.05 about an hour past noon. The index, which advanced to 19,231.23 in opening trades, dropped to a low of 19,052.41 before regaining some lost ground.

The Capped Healthcare Index is down more than 4%. Bausch Health Companies Inc. (BHC.TO) shares are plunging nearly 10%. Bausch reported a first-quarter loss of US$610 million compared with a loss of US$152 million a year earlier.

Aphria Inc (APHA.TO) is down by about 4%, Trillium Therapeutics (TRIL.TO) is declining 3.85% and Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (AUP.TO) is lower by 3.3%. Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) and Organigram Holdings (OGI.TO) are down 2.2% and 1.4%, respectively.

Information technology stocks Hut 8 Mining Corp (HUT.TO) is down nearly 8%. Lightspeed Pos (LSPD.TO), Absolute Software Corp (ABST.TO), BlackBerry (BB.TO), Celestica Inc (CLS.TO), Tecys Inc (TCS.TO) and Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) are down 3 to 5.6%. Shopify Inc (SHOP.TO) and Kinaxis Inc (KXS.TO) are also down sharply.

Consumer discretionary stocks Aritzia Inc (ATZ.TO), Magna International (MG.TO), Gildan Activewear (GIL.TO), Martinrea International (MRE.TO), Dollarama Inc (DOL.TO), Linamar Corp (LNR.TO) and Brp Inc (DOO.TO) are down 1.6 to 2.5%.

Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) reported first-quarter net earnings of $821 million or 54 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $3.5 billion or $2.31 per share in the year-ago quarter. The stock is down marginally.

Domtar Inc. (UFS.TO) shares soared nearly 18%, hitting a two-year high in the process, after the pulp and paper producer acknowledged it's in talks with B.C.'s Paper Excellence about a possible merger or sale of the company.

Thomson Reuters Corp. (TRI.TO) shares are up nearly 3%. The company reported a first-quarter profit of approximately US$5.04 billion as it completed the sale of its investment in financial data firm Refinitiv to the London Stock Exchange Group. The company said the profit amounted to US$10.13 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, up from a profit of US$193 million or 39 cents per diluted share a year earlier.

Data released by Statistics Canada a little while ago said Canada recorded a trade deficit of C$1.14 billion in March 2021, up from C$1.04 billion a month earlier.

Exports increased marginally to C$50.62 billion in March from a revised C$50.49 billion a month earlier, while imports were up at C$51.76 billion in the month, after coming in at C$49.07 billion in February.

Another data from Statistics Canada showed building permits in Canada shot up by 5.7% in March, after rising 3.1% in February.

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