Toronto markets roll on
Friday, October 28, 2011 04:55 PM EST Toronto markets roll on RIM, Norbord in focus Gold stocks pushed the Toronto stock market slightly higher Friday while commodity prices stepped back as relief over an agreement to deal with the European debt crisis faded. The S&P/TSX composite index rose 54.07 points to close the day and week at 12,519.51 The Canadian dollar dipped 0.22 of a cent to 100.74 cents U.S. Among gold issues, Goldcorp Inc. improved by $1.83 to $49.68 while Barrick Gold Corp. fell $1.89 to $50.50. The tech sector was also positive after Mosaid Technologies Inc. said its board supports a $590-million offer from U.S. private equity firm Sterling Partners. The company is offering $46 cash per Mosaid share, a bid that’s nearly 10% more than Mosaid’s rival Wi-LAN Inc. Mosaid shares jumped $2.53 or 5.8% to $45.95. The Wall Street Journal reported that Research In Motion has set up a facility in Mumbai to help the Indian government carry out lawful surveillance of its BlackBerry services. The Waterloo, Ont., company gave India access to its consumer services, including its BlackBerry Messenger texting service in January after authorities raised security concerns, the newspaper said. However, RIM said it could not allow monitoring of its enterprise email and its shares were up seven cents to $21.17 The energy sector was down as Suncor Inc. gained 27 cents to $33.07 while Cenovus Energy lost 23 cents to $36.00. The base metals sector was flat as metal prices also backed off from Thursday’s strong advances as December copper declined three cents to $3.67 U.S. after gaining 20 cents. Inmet Mining moved up $4.21 to $61.13 while Quadra FNX Mining lost 19 cents to $12.00 It was a relatively light day for earnings news. Wood panel maker Norbord Inc. said its losses were $1 million U.S. or two cents per share in the three months ended Oct. 1, an improvement from the $4-million loss handed in a year earlier. The company is still feeling the pressure of a depressed U.S. housing market. Its shares fell a penny to $8.93. In other corporate news, ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. shares slipped seven cents to $6.28 after it said it is reducing workdays at Photowatt France, its struggling solar energy subsidiary, as demand weakens. The facility will operate at about one-third of its production capacity. ON BAYSTREET The TSX Venture Exchange gained 15.09 points to 1,629.89, while the Nasdaq Canada index recovered 3.14 points to 450.24 Nine of the 14 Toronto subgroups were positive by the end of the day. Metals and mining stocks prospered 3.3%, gold was up 2.9%, and materials gained 1.9%. The five laggards were weighed by utilities, off 0.9%, consumer staples, sliding 0.7%, and consumer discretionaries, fading 0.6%. ON WALLSTREET In New York, after pushing stocks to nearly three-month highs and getting them firmly on track for the best monthly performance in decades, investors stepped to the sidelines on Friday. U.S. stocks ended little changed after Thursday's rally, as questions and doubts about Europe's debt-crisis deal started to emerge. The Dow Jones Industrials recovered 22.56 points to end the session at 12,231.10 The S&P 500 inched upward 0.49 points to 1,285.08, while the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 1.48 points to 2,737.15. Financials stocks were mostly lower, with shares of Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley all in the red. Bank of America's stock managed to advance. Stocks surged about 3% on Thursday, following news that European leaders reached a deal that may be a step toward resolving the region's debt crisis. But details about the plan remain sketchy and doubts are creeping in. Despite Friday's humdrum trading, stocks remain on pace for a stellar month. The Dow's up 12% in October, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have surged more than 13%. The gains are the best since January 1987 for the Dow, since October 1974 for the S&P 500, and since October 2002 for the Nasdaq. For the week, all three indexes ended up more than 3.5%, as investors pumped more money into stock mutual funds than bond funds for the first time since mid-September, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch research. All three indexes are also in positive territory for the year. The Dow is up more than 5%, the S&P 500 is 2% higher and the Nasdaq has climbed 3% Chevron shares were slightly higher after the company posted quarterly earnings that beat expectations. Shares of Whirlpool tumbled after the company said it plans to cut about 5,000 jobs in North America and Europe. Whirlpool also reported earnings that fell short of forecasts. Merck shares rose after the pharmaceutical giant announced it earned 94 cents U.S. per share in the third quarter, up from 85 cents a year ago, and better than analysts had expected. Goodyear Tire shares climbed after the company announced third-quarter earnings per share of 60 cents U.S. That's up from a loss of eight cents U.S. per share in the year-ago quarter and beats analysts' estimates for 27 cents U.S. per share. Late Thursday, Coinstar announced third-quarter earnings that blew away analysts' forecasts, but its stock plunged because the company also said it will be raising its Redbox daily DVD rental fee from $1.00 to $1.20 U.S. Advanced Micro Devices shares rose after the chipmaker announced late Thursday that it swung to a profit of 13 cents U.S. per share in the third quarter, after losing 17 cents U.S. per share in the year-ago quarter. Shares of Hewlett-Packard gained after the company announced late Thursday that it will continue selling personal computers after all, reversing an earlier decision to exit one of its core business lines. On the economic front, the government released data on personal income and spending for the month of September on Friday. The government reported that income rose 0.1%, which was lower than expected. Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com expected income to have risen 0.3% from the previous month, following a 0.1% drop. Personal spending matched expectations, rising 0.6%, off a 0.2% rise in the month prior. The final reading of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for October rose to 60.9, which was slightly better than expectations. Third-quarter data on employment costs was also released Friday, rising less than expected. Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.3% in the third quarter, after rising 0.7% in the prior quarter. Analysts expected costs to have risen 0.6%. The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury picked up lost ground, lowering the yield to 2.31% from 2.40% late Thursday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions. Oil for October delivery backtracked 45 cents to $93.51 U.S. a barrel Gold futures for December delivery fell 50 cents to settle at $1,747.20 an ounce.
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