Toronto ekes higher
Friday, December 07, 2012 04:27 PM EST Toronto ekes higher Jobs numbers in Markets in Toronto edged higher on Friday as economically-sensitive resource shares rose on data that showed strong jobs growth in the United States and Canada but the advance was limited by another day of losses for Toronto-Dominion Bank and by a bearish U.S. consumer report. The S&P/TSX composite index gained 8.64 points to end the day and the week at 12,159.77 The Canadian dollar was up 0.11 cents to 100.99 cents U.S. TD Bank fell for a second straight day after issuing quarterly results on Thursday that disappointed the market, while a bruising survey on the outlook of U.S. consumers heading into the Christmas season also weighed. TD fell 1.1% to $80.25, after dropping 1.8% on Thursday. The Bank of Nova Scotia reported quarterly results on Friday, the last of Canada's big banks to do so. It posted a 31% profit increase but its shares were unchanged from Thursday at $55.56. Companies most attuned to economic signals, including miners and energy companies, saw the biggest gains on Friday. Barrick Gold Corp was up 0.3% at $33.23, and Goldcorp Inc rose 1.3% to $36.94 as bullion prices rebounded. Pipeline operator Enbridge Inc gained nearly 4% to $41.58 after proposing a $6.2-billion expansion of its oil pipeline system, aimed at moving surging volumes of light crude from Western Canada and the North Dakota Bakken to refineries in the eastern part of the continent and U.S. Midwest. Crescent Point Energy Corp., which produces shale light oil in that region and would benefit from improved access to markets, gained 1.1% to $36.56. Glencore International Plc received approval from China's Ministry of Commerce for its $6.1-billion acquisition of Canadian grain handler Viterra Inc., clearing the final regulatory hurdle for the long-delayed deal. Viterra shares were higher by 2.2% to $16.20. Investors are watching for progress on two other acquisitions of Canadian resource companies as a deadline approaches for Ottawa to either approve or reject bids from China's CNOOC Ltd for Nexen Inc and Malaysia's Petronas for Progress Energy Resources Corp. Nexen stock dumped 10.5% to $22.25, while Progress capsized 6.8% to $18.88. On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada reported this morning that employment rose in this country by 59,000 in November, the result of an increase in full-time work. The unemployment rate declined 0.2 percentage points to 7.2%, after being fairly static in October. ON BAYSTREET The TSX Venture Exchange finished 0.64 points shy of breakeven at 1,186.06 Nine of the 14 Toronto subgroups were up to close the day, buoyed mostly by gold and health-care issues, each shining 0.6% brighter, while consumer staples enjoyed a 0.4% boost. The four laggards were weighed mostly by metals and mining, down 1.1%, energy, down 0.8%, and telecoms, sliding 0.3%. The information technology sector was unchanged by the closing bell. ON WALLSTREET Stocks were mixed Friday afternoon, giving up some early morning gains. The Dow Jones Industrials strengthened 81.09 points by day’s end to 13,155.10, helped by shares of JPMorgan Chase. The S&P 500 moved higher 4.14 points to 1,418.08, while the Nasdaq Composite Index doffed 11.23 points to 2,978.04. A 3% descent in shares of Apple weighed on the tech-heavy Nasdaq index. On the corporate front, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for posting information about the company on his Facebook page that he hadn't disclosed to the SEC. Shares dipped almost 1%. Shares of Smith & Wesson Holding dropped more than 6% even though the gun maker reported strong quarterly earnings results and boosted its full-year outlook. Shares of publisher McGraw-Hill rose nearly 4% after the company announced that it would pay a one-time special dividend before year-end. Western Gas Equity Partners rose nearly 30% in its IPO Friday. The U.S. Labor Department reported employers added 146,000 jobs in November, much better than the 77,000 jobs economists had predicted. But the latest consumer sentiment reading from Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan served as a stark reminder that consumers still aren't on board with the economic recovery. The index unexpectedly fell to 74.5 in December, coming in way below forecasts and down from 82.7 in November. On top of that, worries about the fiscal cliff and ongoing back and forth wrangling in Washington continues to keep investors on edge. If lawmakers fail to strike a deal before the end of the year to avert the $500 billion of scheduled tax increases and spending cuts, they risk pushing the U.S. economy into recession. Treasury prices drooped, thus raising yields on the 10-year note to 1.63% from Thursday’s 1.58%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions. Oil prices ditched 27 cents to $85.99 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices muscled $2.90 an ounce to $1,704.70 U.S.
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