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The TSX fell early on Wednesday with consumer shares leading the losses.

Consumer staples and consumer discretionary stocks shed more than 1 per cent each.

The greatest loss came from convenience store operator, Alimentation Couche-Tard, which fell 4.6 per cent after second-quarter profits narrowly missed market expectations.

Couche-Tard hired approximately 20,000 employees this past summer, which entailed a two-per-cent rise in operating expenses for bonuses and training to maximize retention. While the incentives have improved staff turnover somewhat, the company is depending on the strength of its brand to justify higher prices until supply disruptions subside.

The energy sector eked out the highest gains, climbing 0.8 per cent in spite of the U.S. announcing the release of 50 million barrels from its strategic reserves. The rise is likely due to ongoing energy shortages in Europe and Asia, as well as the recent B.C. weather disaster’s effect on the province’s fuel supply.

While the prices of gas and corner-store indulgences are up, nudging Canadians to cut back on their spending, the real estate market is racking up sales in spite of its sky-high valuation. Sales were up 8.6 per cent last month from September, the biggest jump since July 2020, suggesting that buyers are doing everything they can to lock in decent mortgages before the Bank of Canada raises rates in 2022 or early 2023.

At market close, the TSX found its way back up 0.44 per cent to 21,548.43, perhaps emboldened by the prospect of Black Friday sales affording retailers a much-needed day in the sun.

Market movers

Companies amassing investor interest so far this week include disruptors in the renewable energy and technology spaces.

FuelPositive released the operational costing model and timeline for its green ammonia production system, which has the potential to reduce the cost per tonne by 50 per cent or more.

Zoomd, the search engine and advertising technology provider, reported Q3 and YTD results on Monday headlined by a 141-per-cent increase in revenue compared to Q3 2020.

Finally, clinic operator and brain health specialist, Highmark Interactive, began trading on the TSXV.

In terms of capital raises, resource companies are leading the pack at the mid-week mark. Among them are Omai Gold Mines, ExGen Resources, MAG Silver Corp., District Metals and Desert Gold Ventures.

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