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AFTER THE BELL: Dow suffers worst Christmas Eve trading day ever, falling energy stocks weigh on TSX

Holiday cheer was in short supply on North American markets today.

The Dow suffered its worst Christmas Eve trading session on record by plunging 653 points.

The index was already coming off its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis, slammed by ongoing government turmoil and last Wednesday’s rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Today, every sector traded lower with drops in bellwethers Apple, Boeing, Caterpillar, Johnson & Johnson, and Exxon Mobile.

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During a shortened trading day, concerns over a slowing global economy and the continued slide in crude oil prices weighed heavily on investor sentiment on both sides of the border.

On Bay Street, the TSX finished 155 points lower as losses in the struggling energy sector outweighed a rise in cannabis and materials stocks.

On a bright note, three days after Aphria announced that it will soon cultivate medical grade marijuana in Argentina, the company’s stock jumped 15.9 percent today.

Aphria was the most actively traded company on Canada’s stock exchange today, followed closely by Aurora Cannabis, which rose 2.1 percent.

But sagging oil prices pushed down energy stocks with Baytex Energy, Enbridge, Encana Corporation, and Crescent Point Energy losing between 2.9 and 5.1 percent.

Weakening global demand caused oil to sink $2.91 to $42.68 US a barrel.

The tech-dependent Nasdaq fell into a bear market last week and dropped another 140 points today with Tesla leading the losses.

The electric car maker lost 7.6 percent after it dropped the price of its Model 3 cars in China.

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Tesla had company in the red, with Amazon, Netflix, Micron and Microsoft all in negative territory.

The loonie weakened slightly, down 3/100ths of a cent to $0.7348 US while gold jumped $13.90 to $1,268 an ounce.

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