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AFTER THE BELL: Falling cannabis stocks keep TSX lower, Dow rises despite U.S./China trade concerns

Jitters over ongoing U.S./China trade talks coupled with falling pot stocks weighted the TSX today.

Aurora Cannabis and Aphria Inc. were among the three most actively companies on Canada’s stock exchange and both plunged deep into the red, down 6.6 and 9.5 percent respectively.

In all, eight of 11 of the index’s major sectors traded lower as the TSX lost 32 points.

Limiting the losses was a surge in a few of Canada’s energy stocks as the price of oil moved higher.

Baytex Energy, Enbridge, and Crescent Point Energy jumped between 1.4 and 8.4 percent.

Oil climbed $1.77 to $52.92 US a barrel on evidence of declining U.S. crude inventories, along with recent production cuts by the world’s largest exporters.

On the international stage, fallout continues over the arrest of the CFO of Chinese technology giant Huawei.

China’s ambassador to Canada called the Dec. 1 arrest in Vancouver a “premeditated political action” orchestrated by the U.S. government.

This element to ongoing U.S./China trade talks adds to concern among investors as the global economic giants look to iron out their differences regarding tariffs.

In New York, the Dow seesawed throughout the day before swinging 70 points into positive territory, as investors weighed trade developments between Washington and Beijing.

Leading the way on Wall Street was a jump in General Electric shares. GE moved 7.3 percent higher after its stock rating was upgraded by JPMorgan.

The Nasdaq fell by 27 points with losses in Micron, Booking Holdings, and Amazon outweighing increases in Apple, Tesla, and Netflix.

The loonie was flat at $0.7489 US while gold lost $2.60 to $1,243 an ounce.

Elsewhere, the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation is reporting that household debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is near a record high.

The CMHC said mortgage debt is a major contributor, counting for two-thirds of all outstanding household debt in Canada.

Vancouver and Toronto have the highest DTI ratios in the nation, at 242 percent and 208 percent, respectively. The DTI ratio in Vancouver is more than double the level in Saint John (106 percent).

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