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AFTER THE BELL: Energy lifts TSX to positive territory, Apple’s stock downgraded due to soft smartphone demand

It was a mixed bag of trading on Bay Street today as the heavyweight energy and financials sectors went in opposite directions.

On the back of a 1.7 percent gain in the energy sector, the TSX managed to move up 22 points, despite seven of 11 sectors falling into the red.

Energy stocks were lifted by a bump in the price in oil.

Oil jumped $1.07 to $51.36 US a barrel on reports that Russia is considering cutting its output to help keep prices from spiraling.

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Oil’s rise boosted Canadian energy stocks with Baytex Energy Corp., Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, and Crescent Point Energy  gaining between 1.7 and 6.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the financials sector lost 0.3 percent, led lower by CIBC after the bank’s fourth quarter earnings missed analysts’ estimates for the first time in four years.

For the year ended Oct. 31, CIBC reported net income of $5.3 billion, compared with reported net income of $4.7 billion for 2017.

CIBC’s stock tumbled 3.2 percent. Joining CIBC in the red were TD Bank and Royal Bank.

In New York, the Dow dropped 27 points, weighted by renewed concerns about the U.S./China trade war and another dip in Apple’s stock, after an analyst downgraded the tech giant’s stock rating due to soft smartphone demand.

However, investor confidence was eased by the U.S. Federal Reserve minutes that had few surprises.

Meanwhile, Boeing and General Electric both continue to perform consistently in a turbulent market. Boeing’s stock jumped 2.7 percent while GM rose 2.5 percent.

It was a choppy day on the Nasdaq, which lost 18 as jumps in Facebook and Netflix were dampened by losses in Apple, Microsoft and Tesla.

Gold was down 40 cents to $1,226 an ounce, while the loonie was relatively flat, down 7/100ths of a cent $0.7527 US.

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