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Stocks Sharply Lower

Stocks in Toronto took the brunt of investor hesitancy, as weakness in health-care and energy stocks took their toll.

The TSX Composite Index plunged 210.97 points, or 1.3%, to wrap up a tumultuous Tuesday at 16,477.66

The Canadian dollar nicked ahead 0.11 cents at 75.64 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks took the biggest shiners, as Bausch Health Companies, faltering $2.90, or 10%, to $26.00, while Aurora Cannabis skidded 38 cents, or 6.7%, to $5.43.

In the oil patch, Ensign Energy slouched 26 cents, or 8.5%, to $2.80, while Whitecap Resources sank 31 cents, or 6.7%, to $4.29.

Industrials were also roughed up, as Bombardier dipped 19 cents, or 9.5%, to $1.62, while SNC-Lavalin fell $1.16, or 6.2%, to $17.50,

On the economic front, Statistics Canada says this country's economy was essentially unchanged in July as a decline in goods-producing industries was offset by an increase in services-producing industries,

Meanwhile, the seasonally-adjusted IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose back above the 50.0 no-change mark in September, posting 51.0 from 49.1 in August. The rate of improvement in the health of the sector this signaled was modest, but the most marked in seven months.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 3.77 points Tuesday to 554.91

All but two of the 12 Toronto subgroups remained negative on the day, with health-care ailing 5.2%, while energy subsided 3.4%, and industrials stumbled 3.4%

The two gainers were communications, better by 0.3%, and gold, up 0.2%

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks dropped on Tuesday, the first trading day of the fourth quarter, as disappointing manufacturing data stoked worries over the U.S. economy.

The Dow Jones Industrials plunged 343.79 points, or 1.3%, to 26,573.04

The S&P 500 slumped 36.49 points, or 1.2%, to 2,940.25

The NASDAQ Composite subtracted 90.65 points, or 1.1% to 7,908.69

Investors entered the fourth quarter with the major averages struggling to reach record highs set earlier in the year. The Dow and S&P 500 were more than 1% from their all-time highs following several failed attempts at to break them. The NASDAQ is about 4% below its record.

The Institute for Supply Management said U.S. manufacturing activity contracted to its worst level since June 2009.

Shares of manufacturers such as Honeywell, 3M and Eaton rolled over on the data release, trading at least 2.8% lower.

In corporate news, Charles Schwab shares dropped nearly 10% after the brokerage said it's ending commissions on stock trading. TD Ameritrade plunged more than 20% on the news while E-Trade slid 16.4%.

U.S. and Chinese negotiators are expected to meet next week in Washington to discuss a potential trade deal between the world's largest economies.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury were slightly higher, lowering yields to 1.64% from Monday's 1.67%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gave back 49 cents to $53.58 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices regained $15.10 to $1,488.00 U.S. an ounce.

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