Closing Bell TSX falls while New York lifted amid negative economic data

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market plunged more than 100 points Wednesday as traders digested a slew of economic data signalling a possible slowdown in both the Canadian and U.S. economies.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 12,473.65 -103.40 -0.82%S&P 500 — 1,658.78 +8.44 0.51%Dow — 15,275.69 +60.44 0.40%Nasdaq — 3,471.62 +9.01 0.26%The S&P/TSX composite index fell 103.40 points to 12,473.65.The Canadian dollar was down 0.02 of a cent at 98.31 cents US.Statistics Canada reported that manufacturing sales edged down 0.3% in March to $49.5 billion, the third decline in four months. The agency said the decline largely reflected lower sales in petroleum and coal products and the chemical manufacturing industries. Excluding those industries, Canadian manufacturing sales rose 0.3%.Overall, sales fell in 10 of 21 industries, representing approximately one-third of Canadian manufacturing.Meanwhile, the number of Canadian houses and condos sold last month was slightly better than in March but down from April 2012, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.Its figures showed the number properties sold in April edged up 0.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis, while the number of newly listed homes fell 0.9%. CREA’s home price index rose 2.2% in April, the smallest gain in more than two years.Senior investment adviser Alan Small said neither the manufacturing nor the housing numbers were surprising.“For the most part, we’re seeing a slowdown in our economy and it’ll be interesting to see if our government does anything to stimulate,” said Small, who works for Dundee Wealth Management Securities.“Recently, they talked about balancing the books in the next couple of years, rather than choosing to stimulate but — if the numbers continue to show poor economic data coming out of country — maybe our government will take a different approach.”At the close, all sectors on the Toronto stock exchange were lower, with gold seeing the largest decline — more than four%. Shares in Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX:AEM) were down 5.62%, or $1.73, to $29.03.June bullion was down $28.30 at US$1,396.20 an ounce, its lowest price in a month.Small said gold prices are falling because they take their cue from the U.S. economy, which is showing some signs of recovery.“I lack to see a catalyst to take gold higher. In fact, there is definitely a case for gold to fall even further,” he said. “When the (U.S.) dollar is strong, and the economy is strong, people are leaving these types of investments, like gold and silver, and buying stocks and into the U.S. economy.”The telecom sector was off 1.43%, pulled down by shares in Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B), which dropped by more than three% to $48.20.The June crude contract was down nine cents at US$94.30 a barrel as the TSX energy sector fell by 0.88%. Talisman Energy (TSX:TLM) saw its shares dip 1.79%, or 21 cents to C$11.50.July copper dipped two cents to US$3.26 a pound as the metals and mining sector fell by 0.73%.Engineering company SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) said allegations about a subsidiary using a secret code to account for bribes on several projects across Africa and Asia have been resolved and are history. The company says it is focused on moving ahead with systems that would prevent the problems from reoccurring.According to media reports, the company paid so-called “consultancy costs” between 2008 and 2011 to win contracts for 13 development projects. Its shares were down 1.3%, or 55 cents, at $41.79.Meanwhile, U.S. indexes turned higher, boosted by a two% jump in the shares of department store Macy’s. Search engine giant Google also saw its shares soared past US$900 for the first time on the first day of the company’s annual conference. Shares in Apple Inc. fell more than three%, or $15.01, to US$428.85.The Dow Jones industrial average was up 60.44 points to 15,275.69, while the S&P 500 index gained 8.43 points to 1,658.77. Both the Dow Jones and the broader market measure, the S&P 500, had record-high closes on Tuesday.The Nasdaq also ended the day positive, climbing 9.01 points to 3,471.62.U.S. indexes were down for most of the morning following the release of a number of disappointing economic reports, but bounced back as the signs of sluggish growth may mean the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue with its monetary stimulus program.The Fed said manufacturing output dropped 0.4% in April — the third decline in four months and the biggest since October as auto companies cranked out fewer cars and most other industries also reduced output.The U.S. Labor Department reported the producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, fell a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in April from March. It was the second straight decline.Meanwhile, weak economic data across the eurozone pushed European stocks lower, as news hit that the 17-country currency bloc is now in its longest-ever recession. Germany’s gross domestic product rose 0.1% in the first quarter of the year while the French economy has fallen back into recession.What investors were watching today: Why are investors so bearish on Canadian banks?Why markets don’t care that the eurozone has fallen into its deepest recession everGoogle shares top US$900 for first time in company’s historyThere was nothing precious about precious metals todayON DECK THURSDAYECONOMIC NEWSCANADA8:30 a.m.International securities transactions (March) UNITED STATES8:30 a.m.Weekly jobless claims: Economists expect 330,000 new claims, up from last week Consumer Price Index (April): Economists expect a 0.3% fall from the month before, 1.3% rise year over year Housing starts (April): Economists expect a decline of 6.4% from the month before Building permits (April): Economists expect 3.8% rise 10 a.m.Philadelphia Fed Index (May): Economists expect a reading of 2, up from the month before read more

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