Toronto soars by midday
Friday, February 01, 2013 00:31 PM EST Toronto soars by midday BlackBerry recovers The Toronto stock market was higher Friday as U.S. job creation data and a strong showing in the American manufacturing sector raised hopes that indexes can build on January gains. The S&P/TSX Composite Index leaped 83.87 points to greet noon Friday at 12,769.11. The index grew just a shade above 2% for January. The Canadian dollar faded 0.13 cents to 100.13 cents U.S. BlackBerry, the company formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd. was up 31 cents or 2.4% to $13.23 in Toronto after tumbling 17% over the last two sessions following the rollout of its new BlackBerry 10 lineup. Part of the reason for the slide had been profit-taking after the stock ran up 50% in January alone, and up 200% from its 52-week low of $6.10 in September. But availability has become an issue as U.S. customers won’t be able to get the BlackBerry Z10 until March, a month later than in Canada. Imperial Oil reported higher net income in the fourth quarter as lower expenses more than offset a decrease in revenue. Imperial said its net income in the latest period was $1.07 billion or $1.26 per diluted share. That was up 7% from last year’s $1.01 billion, or $1.18 per diluted share. Revenue fell to $7.8 billion from $8.1 billion and its shares gained 38 cents to $44.18. Montreal-based paper maker Domtar Corp. said quarterly net income dropped to $19 million U.S. or 54 cents per share in the three months ended Dec. 31, from $61 million U.S., or $1.63 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2011. Domtar’s revenue fell about $70 million to $1.33 billion. Adjusted earnings dropped to $46 million or $1.31 per share, nine cents below expectations and Domtar shares fell $3.60 to $79.40. The base metals sector advanced while March copper on the New York Mercantile Exchange was up a penny to $3.74 U.S. a pound. Teck Resources was ahead 37 cents at $36.72. The gold sector was up as Goldcorp Inc. improved by 23 cents to $35.36. The energy sector climbed 0.56 per cent with the March crude contract down 26 cents at US$97.23 a barrel. Suncor Energy advanced 35 cents to $34.25 . Financials also provided lift as Manulife Financial moved up 16 cents to $14.56. In economic news, the RBC Purchasing Managers’ Index was little changed in January – and manufacturing activity with it -- inching up to 50.5 in the month from the 50.4 level in both December and November. ON BAYSTREET The TSX Venture Exchange improved 6.01 points to 1,227.72 All but one of the 14 Toronto subgroups stayed positive midday. Metals and mining and their cousins in global base metals each strode forward 1.4%, while health-care issues hiked 1.2%. Only utilities held out against the positive tide, remaining down 0.5%. ON WALLSTREET U.S. stocks rallied Friday, with the Dow breaking above 14,000 for the fist time since October 2007, as investors welcomed a batch of strong economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average leaped 131.08 points, or 1%, to greet noon at 13,991.70 The blue-chip index has since pulled back a bit, but is still hovering just below the psychologically important level. The Dow is now less than 200 points, or 2%, from its all-time high of 14,198.10. The S&P 500 recovered 15.07 points to 1,513.18, and is also at its highest level since 2007 -- about 4% away from its record high. The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite spiked 34.74 points to 3,176.88 The strong advance followed reports on the job market, the manufacturing sector, construction spending and consumer sentiment, which all pointed to a healthy economic recovery. In corporate news, Exxon Mobil reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue, but shares edged lower as the company's energy production levels declined. Merck shares declined after the company topped earnings expectations but gave a cautious outlook for 2013. Shares of toy maker Mattel edged higher after the company said it is raising prices globally. The company is making the move it missed earnings and sales forecast for the fourth quarter, which includes the holiday shopping period. Dell shares climbed almost 5% after a Reuters report said the PC maker is nearing a deal to go private as early as Monday. The company, which is behind brands like Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price, said sales of Barbie brand products slipped 4% last quarter. Zoetis, an animal-health company owned by drug giant Pfizer, raised $2.2 billion U.S. in its initial public offering late Thursday, with shares pricing at $26 each, well above the target range. Shares jumped almost 20% as the stock began trading. Zoetis' IPO is the largest since Facebook Inc raised $16 billion U.S. last May. On the economic front, the U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs last month, fewer than the 180,000 economists were expecting, but investors were encouraged by the government's revisions to its 2012 data. The revisions showed that the economy added 335,000 more jobs in 2012 than originally reported. In January, however, the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.9% from 7.8% in December. Economists were expecting the rate to edge lower to 7.7%. The Institute for Supply Management's monthly manufacturing index rose to 53.1 in January, a sign that manufacturing sector is continuing to expand. Economists were expecting a reading of 50.5. The University of Michigan's sentiment index rose to 73.8 in January. Economists were expecting a reading of 71.4. Prices on the 10-year U.S. Treasury strengthened, lowering yields to 1.98% from Thursday 2.00%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions. Oil prices tacked on 54 cents to $98.03 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices added $11 to $1,673 U.S. an ounce.
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