Markets in Toronto ended Friday at pretty much the same levels at which they started, though the main index progressed on the week.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index inched back 0.69 points to close the day and the week at 15,454.23, but was on track for a 1.9% gain on the week.
The Canadian dollar subtracted 0.03 cents to 81.08 cents U.S.
Telecoms inflicted the most damage on the markets Friday, as BCE Inc. dropped 26 cents to $58.64, while Rogers Communications tailed off 86 cents, or 1.7%, to $63.71.
Among health-care issues, Canopy Growth lost two cents to $10.45, while Valeant Pharmauceticals slipped 28 cents, or 1.6%, to $17.27.
In the utilities sector, Fortis Inc. lost 23 cents to $44.94.
Gold led the gainers Friday, as Goldcorp took on 13 cents to $15.84, and IAMGOLD gained nine cents, or 1.2%, to $7.80.
Among materials, First Quantum Minerals gained 28 cents, or 2%, to $14.03, while Teck Resources gained 18 cents to $$27.10.
In the financial field, CIBC prospered 71 cents to $109.41, while Scotiabank took on 39 cents to $79.72.
On the economic ledger, Statistics Canada reported Friday that the consumer price index rose 1.4% on a year-over-year basis in August, following a 1.2% increase in July. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, inflation grew 0.2% in August, matching the increase in July.
What's more, retail sales in Canada increased 0.4% to $49.1 billion in July. Higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and food and beverage stores were the main contributors to the gain.
The TSX Venture Exchange picked up 2.23 points to 778.10
Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were negative on the day, with telecoms regressing 0.7%, while health-care doffed 0.6%, and utilities faded 0.4%.
The four gainers were led by gold, up 0.9%, materials, ahead 0.5%, and financials were up 0.4%.
U.S. stocks closed mostly higher as health care stocks recovered most of their losses. The Dow Jones Industrials closed out their second consecutive week of gains, up 0.4% on the week.
The Dow fell just short of breakeven by 9.64 points Friday, however, to 22,349.59, Apple continuing to add to its weekly decline and UnitedHealth leading the decliners. Shares of the iPhone maker had their worst week since April 2016 on the heels of the release of several new products, which launched in stores Friday. The stock remains 31% higher for the year.
The S&P 500 gained 1.62 points to 2,502.22, with health-care and energy moving higher. Telecommunications led gainers, with news of a potential merger between Sprint and T-Mobile, giving analysts reason to believe the combined company reduces competition among major providers. Verizon shares gained more than 2% on the day.
Health-care stocks, which were one of the worst performers in the S&P 500 earlier in the day, climbed more than half a percent from session lows to attempt slight gains. Top gainers included Centene, HCA Healthcare and Universal Health Services.
The NASDAQ gained 4.23 points to 6,426.92, as health-care gathered steam
The move in biotech and pharmaceutical stocks came after Arizona Republican Senator John McCain on Friday said he could not "in good conscience vote for the Graham Cassidy proposal."
McCain is one of four Republican senators who are undecided on the GOP health-care overhaul, and his opposition dealt the bill's chances a significant blow.
Inflation measures have remained largely unimpressive recently, keeping investors skeptical of an additional hike this year. The core personal consumption expenditures price index, the Fed's preferred inflation measure, increased 1.4% in the 12 months through July. That was the smallest year-on-year increase since December 2015.
On the world scene, North Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho said Thursday that the country may consider testing a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean. If successfully conducted, the test would be North Korea's first nuclear test beyond its borders.
Rhetoric between the United States and North Korea escalated this week as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un criticized U.S. President Donald Trump, calling the president's United Nations address earlier this week "unprecedented rude nonsense."
Trump responded in kind on Twitter, calling Kim "a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people."
Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note jumped, lowering yields to 2.26% from Thursday's 2.28%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gained nine cents a barrel to $50.64 U.S.
Gold prices gained $5.50 to $1,300.30 U.S. an ounce