The Toronto stock market tumbled more than 150 points Friday morning as a weak U.S. jobs report raised more concerns about whether the United States can support a self-sustaining recovery.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell another 173.97 points to reach noon Friday at 11,840.93
The Canadian dollar shed 0.63 cents to 100.51 cents U.S.
Traders also took in news that TransCanada has applied to the U.S. government for a new permit to build its controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The line would run from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb. The application will include a new route through Nebraska that will skirt around the ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region. TransCanada shares dipped 28 cents to $42.67.
Suncor Energy gave back $1.09 to $30.23 and Cenovus Energy shed $1.32 to $32.63.
The metals and mining sector lost ground with copper down three cents at $3.71 U.S. on top of an 11-cent loss over the last two days. Teck Resources ran down 80 cents to $34.54 and Mercator Minerals dropped 13 cents or 10.8 per cent to $1.07.
The financials sector was also a major source of weakness, down almost 2% with Manulife Financial down 40 cents to $12.58 while Royal Bank fell $1.19 to $54.64.
In the gold area, Goldcorp Inc. climbed 50 cents to $36.45 and Barrick Gold Corp. advanced 35 cents to $37.87.
The major earnings news of the morning came from Air Canada. Its first-quarter loss came in at $210 million, far higher than last year's first quarter loss of $19 million as the carrier was buffeted by higher fuel costs and labour disruptions. It also took a hit from the bankruptcy of the company that formerly overhauled its planes. The loss amounted to 76 cents per share while the adjusted net loss was 64 cents per share.
By both measures, Air Canada did better than consensus estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts had expected a net loss of 77 cents per share and adjusted loss of 78 cents per share. Air Canada's shares were unchanged at 92 cents.
Elsewhere, GMP Capital Inc. fell 59 cents or 9.93 per cent to $5.35 as it reported a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $2.3 million or four cents per diluted share in the first quarter, compared with net income of $22.5 million or 29 cents per diluted share in the same 2011 period.
Revenue was $66.1 million, down 43 per cent.
The TSX Venture Exchange retreated 21.26 points to 1,395.28, while the Nasdaq Canada fell 4.57 points to 389.88.
All but two of the 14 Toronto subgroups were weaker by noon. Metals and mining issues rolled back 3.5%, energy stocks were off 2.4%, and global base metals fell 2.3%.
The two gainers were gold, up 1.6%, while health-care improved 0.2%.
U.S. stocks fell Friday after a government report showed that employers added fewer than expected jobs in April.
The Dow Jones Industrials lost 162.45 points, or 1.2%, to 13,044.14.
The S&P 500 tripped 21.19 points to 1,370.38
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 61.23 to 2,963.07.
Facebook set a price range Thursday of $28 to $35 U.S. per share for its initial public offering. The company also upped the maximum size of its offering to $13.6 billion U.S., up from its previous $5 billion estimate.
First Solar reported a steep quarterly loss late Thursday related to restructuring and announced a new CEO.
AIG shares fell despite earnings that came in well ahead of analyst expectations late Thursday.
Chesapeake Energy shares dropped slightly after the company confirmed that it's facing an inquiry from the Securities and Exchange Commission in the wake of revelations about CEO Aubrey McClendon's controversial compensation program.
On the economic slate, the jobs report showed a net gain of 115,000 jobs, far less than the 160,000 forecast by economists. However, upward revisions to the February and March jobs figures and a drop in the unemployment rate to 8.1% may temper some of investors' disappointment in the report.
As the economy slows, investors have been anticipating more action from the Federal Reserve. In particular, some investors expect the central bank to launch a third round of bond purchases, a policy known as quantitative easing.
Friday's jobs report was not weak enough to justify so-called QE3, said Ricchiuto. But he said it could prompt the Fed to extend a program called Operation Twist, which is set to wind down soon.
Under Operation Twist, the central bank has been using the proceeds from assets in its portfolio to buy longer-term Treasury debt. The goal is to pump money into the economy without expanding the Fed's balance sheet.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury edged higher, pushing the yield down to 1.88% from Thursday's 1.92%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
The price of a barrel of oil fell $4.54 to $98.00 U.S.
Gold futures for June delivery rose $8.90 to $1,643.70 U.S. an ounce.