Stocks limp into long weekend
Friday, February 15, 2013 04:19 PM EST Stocks limp into long weekend Gold, oil take pounding The Toronto stock market was lower Friday as traders look to a weekend meeting of G20 finance ministers who are expected to tackle worries that some countries are using their currencies for economic gain. The S&P/TSX composite index faded 35.16 points to end Friday at 12,686.63 The Canadian dollar tumbled 0.53 to 99.38 cents U.S. Markets will be closed Monday in honour of Family Day. The G20 meeting in Moscow takes place amid speculation of a “currency war” in which countries devalue their currencies to gain a competitive edge. The gold sector led TSX decliners, as Iamgold faded 36 cents, or 4.3%, to $7.96. Goldcorp Inc. fell 66 cents to $34.01 as the miner said Thursday that record gold production levels at two mines in Ontario and Mexico helped it deliver a half-billion dollar profit in the fourth quarter and positioned it well for the coming year. Adjusted earnings were 57 cents per share, beating analyst expectations of 54 cents per share. The base metals sector slipped while March copper in New York was unchanged at $3.73 U.S. a pound. Teck Resources declined 97 cents to $33.23. Energy stocks such as Suncor Energy fell 47 cents to $31.72. Techs were also weak with BlackBerry down 80 cents, or 5.3%, to $14.25. Telecoms led TSX advancers after Rogers Communications Inc. exceeded analysts’ expectations in the fourth quarter of 2012. Rogers posted quarterly net income of $455 million or 88 cents a share, beating expectations of 72 cents. Rogers’ revenue was $3.26 billion against expectations of $3.19 billion. Its stock was ahead $1.80, or 4%, to $47.27. Telus Corp. said that its quarterly net earnings rose almost 23% from a year ago to $291 million, or 89 cents per share. Revenue rose 6% to $2.85 billion from $2.69 billion and its shares were up 81 cents to $67.59. Enbridge Inc. reports it had $146 million of earnings attributable to shareholders in the fourth quarter, or 18 cents per common share, with nearly $7.2 billion of revenue. On an adjusted basis, the profit amounted to $327 million or 42 cents per common share, two cents below analyst estimates. Enbridge is also joining up with a partner to convert some of its natural gas capacity to ship crude oil from a pipeline hub in Illinois to refineries in the eastern Gulf Coast refinery market. The Calgary-based pipeline company and Energy Transfer Partners would each own 50% of the joint venture, which they expect to be in service by 2015. Enbridge shares ticked 11 cents higher to $44.24. The financial sector also provided some lift as Manulife Financial rose 14 cents to $15.51. A cease trade order has been issued against Poseidon Concepts Corp. after the oilfield services company said up to $106 million in revenue should not have been recorded as such in 2012. Poseidon was the most heavily traded issue on the TSX on Thursday, closing down 62 cents, or 69.7% to 27 cents. 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 lost 10.91 points to 1,185.65. Eight of the 14 Toronto subgroups ended the day down, weighed mostly by gold stocks, off 3%, materials, down 2.1%, and the metals and mining group, slumping 1.5%. The half-dozen gainers were led higher by telecoms, hiking 1.8%, consumer discretionaries, better by 0.6%, and industrials, gaining 0.4%. ON WALLSTREET Investors remain wary of jumping into stocks Friday, despite a pair of positive economic reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched higher 8.37 points to end the week at 13,981.80 The S&P 500 index dropped 2.36 points to 1,519.02. The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite flopped 6.63 points to 3,192.03 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. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ dipped between 0.4% and 0.5% by late afternoon. 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. Shares of nutritional supplements company Herbalife surged more than 12% 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. Shares of Gap surged, after hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert revealed a passive 5% stake in the retailer. Lampert is the major shareholder inSears and was the architect of its merger with Kmart. Markets in the U.S. will be closed Monday in honour of President’s Day. Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros spooked gold bugs, after it was revealed that his fund cut its stake in a major gold ETF, SPDR Gold Trust at the end of last year. Commodities moved lower across the board. Oil slid nearly 2% on renewed concerns over global growth following a weaker than expected report on industrial production in the United States. Economically speaking, 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 forecast figure of 74.8. On the downside, the Census Bureau reported that industrial production dipped 0.1% in January. Analysts had expected a modest gain. Prices on the 10-year U.S. Treasury faded, raising yields to 2.01% from Thursday’s 2%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions. Oil prices tumbled $1.35 to $95.96 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices got bruised $29.30 to $1,606.20 U.S. an ounce.
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