TSX stutters at open
Friday, February 15, 2013 10:37 AM EST TSX stutters at open Mfg., housing figures in focus The Toronto stock market stumbled at the open on Friday, with investors focused on manufacturing and housing numbers, as well as results from major companies like Rogers Communications, Telus and Goldcorp. The S&P/TSX composite index demurred 35.04 points to begin Friday at 12,686.75 The Canadian dollar tumbled 0.63 to 99.28 cents U.S. The energy sector declined as Canadian Natural Resources dropped 65 cents to $31.15. Russia's Rostec is in talks with Bombardier over a possible multi-million-dollar joint venture to build the Canadian plane maker's Q400 aircraft in Russia. Bombardier stock eked up one cent to $4.05 a share. KEYreit, which owns small retail properties across Canada rejected an unsolicited partial takeover bid from Huntingdon Capital Corp, saying the proposal was inadequate, coercive and highly opportunistic. KEYreit units were off two cents at $6.66. Property and casualty insurer Fairfax Financial posted a stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, which included a large investment gain, after a year-earlier loss. Fairfax shares took on $4.72 to $364.72. Rogers Communications Inc posted a 30% rise in adjusted quarterly profit, helped by cost improvements and revenue growth in all its segments, and increased its annualized dividend. Rogers shares grew $1.54, or 3.4%, to $47.01. Telus posted a 23% rise in quarterly profit on Friday, helped by strong growth in its wireless business. Telus stock increased 65 cents in price to $67.43. Goldcorp Inc booked a lower-than-expected drop in adjusted quarterly profit on Thursday and said improved performance at two key mines positioned it for a strong year. Goldcorp shares retreated 68 cents to $33.99. Enbridge reported an 8% fall in quarterly profit as it was hurt by a $105-million after-tax charge related to certain off-shore assets. Enbridge shares gained 12 cents to $44.25. On the economic docket, Statistics Canada reported this morning that manufacturing sales hurtled 3.1% in December to $48 billion. The nation’s number crunchers called it the largest decline since May 2009. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) noted that national home sales activity edged up on a month-over-month basis in January 2013. CREA reported that national home sales rose 1.3% from December to January. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 5.2% under levels in January 2012. ON BAYSTREET The TSX Venture Exchange shed 8.05 points to 1,188.51 The 14 Toronto subgroups were evenly divided to begin the session. The seven gainers were led by telecoms, up 1.2%, while financials and consumer discretionaries each scratched out gains of 0.3%. The seven laggards were weighed by gold, stumbling 2.7%, materials, sliding 1.8%, and metals and mining stocks, down 0.7%. ON WALLSTREET Investors remained wary of jumping into stocks Friday, despite a pair of positive economic reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up 14.59 points to begin trading at 13,988 The S&P 500 index peeked up 2.06 points to 1,523.44. The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite inched up 4.41 points to 3,203.06 The Dow is still within 1.6% of its all-time high, hit in October 2007, and the S&P 500 is about 4% shy of its record high, also set in October 2007. All three indexes are up between 5% and 7% for the year. About 65% of the companies in the S&P 500 that had reported fourth-quarter earnings as of Thursday topped analysts' expectations, according to S&P Capital IQ. But the bulk of companies that have issued guidance for the first quarter have had negative outlooks. Burger King reported earnings that beat expectations. Shares rose more than 3%. Meanwhile, Kraft Foods posted weaker-than-expected revenue, sending shares down slightly. Shares of nutritional supplements company Herbalife surged more than 10% after activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed a 13% stake in the firm on Thursday. Carnival shares slid as the company's Triumph cruise ship docked and passengers were finally able to leave, just days after a fire and power outage left the ship and 3,000 passengers stranded at sea. Shares of Wal-Mart dropped nearly 2%, after a research firm said that sales for the last four weeks look significantly softer at the big box retailer. The New York Federal Reserve report showed that manufacturing in the state picked up precipitously last month. Meanwhile, the University of Michigan's February report on consumer sentiment came in at 76.3, above a 74.8 forecast. On the downside, the Census Bureau reported that industrial production dipped 0.1% in January. Analysts had expected a modes gain. Prices on the 10-year U.S. Treasury faded, raising yields to 2.02% from Thursday’s 2%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions. Oil prices tumbled $1.78 to $95.53 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices got bruised $24.60 to $1,610.90 U.S. an ounce.
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