Apple move to close some U.S. stores over virus infections spooks stock markets

Apple move to close some U.S. stores over virus infections spooks stock markets

TORONTO — The decision by Apple to close some U.S. stores again over rising COVID-19 infections spooked investors and sent most North American stock markets lower to end the week.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up down 5.63 points at 15,474.20 after being higher for most of the day.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 208.64 points at 25,871.46. The S&P 500 index was down 17.42 points at 3,097.92, while the Nasdaq composite was up 3.07 points at 9,946.12.

Markets responded around midday after the tech retailing giant said it was closing 11 stores in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina that it had reopened just a few weeks ago.

There’s always been a concern that we could see a resurgence of infections later in the year, said Allan Small, senior investment adviser at HollisWealth.

“I think this was the first time where somebody acted on this idea of increased cases versus up until now it’s been all talk,” he said in an interview.

Small said markets will always wonder if this move is the start of something bigger and serve as a template for states and companies facing rising coronavirus cases.

The rest of the day was fairly steady with markets moving slightly on a lack of any economic data.

“It’s been a pretty uneventful day,” he said.

“It just seems like it’s one of those days where there really isn’t a major headline other than this continuation of a bit of a fear out there that virus cases are increasing in the southern United States and southwest.”

The TSX was helped by a positive day for the materials sector, which gained 2.55 per cent on higher metals prices as Centerra Gold Inc. surged 9.5 per cent.

The August gold contract was up US$21.90 at US$1,753.00 an ounce and the July copper contract was up 2.3 cents at US$2.61 a pound.

Consumer staples rose on Maple Leaf Foods Inc. rising nearly six per cent and technology up with shares of Shopify Inc. up again and Blackberry Ltd. rising 1.2 per cent on 26 million shares traded.

Energy dipped despite higher crude oil prices as Vermilion Energy Inc. rose 4.2 per cent while Baytex Energy Corp. and Suncor Energy Inc. were up about three per cent in heavy trading.

The August crude contract was up 78 cents at US$39.83 per barrel after topping US$40 and the July natural gas contract was up 3.1 cents at nearly US$1.67 per mmBTU.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.60 cents US compared with 73.59 cents US on Thursday.

Small said the market has generally taken the risk increased infections in stride with U.S. President Donald Trump, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and economic adviser Larry Kudlow indicating they would never shut down the economy again.

“I don’t think the country will shut down but maybe certain spots in the country may and pretty much I think that’s what’s taken down the market today.”

Markets rose for the week but need some type of catalyst like reopenings, kids going back to school or sports coming back to break through new record highs, he said.

“The market fails to see a catalyst for now and I think that is also keeping us range-bound at this level.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:SHOP, TSX:BB, TSX:SU, TSX:VET, TSX:BTE, TSX:MFI, TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Maskwacis reporting 37 active cases

Numbers current as of Oct. 19

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Photo submitted/ Millet In Bloom
Town of Millet declared Best Blooming Community

The Town of Millet is being recognized for their efforts to meet the challenges of 2020.

Many rural municipalities were concerned about a proposed reduction to their industrial revenues, but Alberta’s Municipal Affairs minister has come up with an alternative solution. (Photo contributed)
Province and rural municipalities agree on a plan to support Alberta’s energy industry

Creating new wells or pipelines would result in a three year ‘tax holiday’

Conservative member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals say Tory effort to set up COVID-19 committee will be a confidence matter

The Tories were originally proposing an ‘anticorruption’ committee

(The Canadian Press)
Alberta-raised Cree actor lands role in Disney’s live-action ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’

Tiger Lily is featured in Disney’s 1953 animated “Peter Pan” film

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday February 4, 2020 in Ottawa. The Alberta government is welcoming news that Ottawa has approved an expansion of the Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. gathering system in Alberta — while condemning federal delays that it says cost this summer’s construction season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta welcomes federal approval of gas pipeline expansion while criticizing delay

Pipeline division owned by Calgary-based TC Energy Corp. will now be required to restore 3,840 hectares of caribou habitat,

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

Alberta Premier Jason Kenny and government house leader Jason Nixon chat before the speech from the throne delivered in Edmonton, Alta., on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Alberta politicians are to return to the legislature Tuesday with a plan to discuss up to 20 new bills — many of which are focused on the province’s economic recovery. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta legislature to resume Tuesday; focus to be on economic recovery

Opposition house leader Heather Sweet said the NDP will focus on holding Premier Jason Kenney

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

robbery
UPDATE: Suspect identified in early morning shooting

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen (Alberta government photo)
Big boost for Alberta college agriculture research

The $2-million agreement to benefit Lethbridge College’s applied research team

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Canadian couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read