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Negative Start to Markets on Eve of Canada Day

Equities in Canada's largest market opened lower on Tuesday, with the energy sector tracking oil prices lower on concerns about the relentless global spread of the novel coronavirus as well as simmering U.S.-China tensions.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index eased back 20.45 points to open for business Tuesday at 15,369.27.

The Canadian dollar slid 0.13 cents to 73.11 cents U.S.

Canadian markets will be shuttered Wednesday for Canada Day.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says this country is over the worst of the coronavirus outbreak but adds a spike in cases in the United States and elsewhere shows Canadians must remain vigilant as the economy reopens.

Alimentation Couche-Tard's quarterly results beat estimates on Monday, as customers spent more per trip to its convenience stores, even as overall traffic declined due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Couche-Tard shares picked up 77 cents, or 1.8%, to $43.37.

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the famed circus operator to cancel shows and lay off its artistes.

Jefferies raised the target price on Restaurant Brands International to $53.00 from $47.00. Restaurant Brands shares subsided 31 cents to $75.32.

National Bank of Canada cut the target price on Cineplex to $8.00 from $10.00. Cineplex shares tumbled $1.65, or 16.6%, to $8.27.

Economically speaking, Statistics Canada reported Gross Domestic Product dropped 11.6% in April, following a 7.5% decline in March, as all 20 industrial sectors decreased.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 4.16 points to 612.41.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups lost ground in the first hour, weighed most by energy, down 2.7%, health-care, worse off by 1.6%, and gold, fading 0.7%.

The five gainers were led by consumer staples, ahead 0.7%, information technology, up 0.6%, and real-estate, better by 0.4%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks were flat on Tuesday as Wall Street wrapped up its best quarterly performance in decades.

The Dow Jones Industrials decreased 36.58 points to begin Tuesday's session at 25,559.22.

The S&P 500 increased 9.96 points to 3,063.20.

The NASDAQ Composite jumped 69.92 points to 9,944.07.

Despite Tuesday's decline, the major averages headed for their biggest one-quarter gains in years. Both the Dow and S&P 500 were on pace for their best quarterly performance since 1998, surging more than 16% each. The NASDAQ, meanwhile, was up 28.2% quarter to date and was headed for its biggest quarterly gain since 2001.

Shares of Wells Fargo ticked 1.7% lower after the bank said Monday it would likely slash its dividend in the third quarter to comply with the Federal Reserve stress test. Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs said their dividends would stay the same.

Stocks that would benefit from the economy reopening were also under pressure. Wynn Resorts slid 1.6% and United Airlines dropped 1.7%. Delta Air Lines traded 0.8% lower.

Those losses were capped in part by a 4.7% jump in Micron following the company's better-than-expected earnings report. Micron gave strong forward revenue guidance. Shares of Lululemon gained 4.9% on news it will acquire at-home fitness company Mirror for $500 million.

Those gains came amid a backdrop of increasing coronavirus cases in the U.S. and states attempt to reopen from the shutdown. U.S. governors are walking back or delaying reopening plans as Covid-19 cases climb around the country. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced the state will delay a resumption of indoor dining that was planned for Thursday.

Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will testify before the House Financial Services Committee at 12:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. The joint hearing will address the Fed and Treasury's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In remarks he will deliver Tuesday, Powell said uncertainty reigns over the outlook for the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained, lowering yields to 0.63% from Monday's 0.64%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices lost 32 cents to $39.38 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices added $2.60 to $1,783.80 U.S. an ounce.

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