By Malcolm Morrison TORONTO _ The Toronto stock market was set to start the session little changed following three straight days of advances. The Canadian dollar slipped 0.22 of a cent to 91.31 cents US. U.S. futures were slightly higher as traders digested mixed earnings from a variety of sectors and awaited economic data later in the morning on industrial production and housing starts. The Dow Jones industrial futures rose 17 points to 16,341, the Nasdaq future were 1.7 points higher to 3,597 and the S&P 500 futures were ahead 2.25 points to 1,838.5. General Electric's net income rose five per cent to $4.2 billion in the fourth quarter on rising profits from the sale of aircraft engines, oil and gas drilling equipment and appliances. Ex-items, GE met analyst expectations of 53 cents a share and its shares edged about 0.3 per cent lower in pre-market trading. Investment bank Morgan Stanley earned $433 million , or 20 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2013. That compared to $982 million , or 49 cents a share, a year earlier. Ex-items, it earned 50 cents a share, six cents ahead of estimates. The fourth quarter included legal expenses of $1.2 billion related to mortgage-backed securities lawsuits. Morgan Stanley shares rose 2.1 per cent in pre-market trading. After the close Thursday, Intel's fourth-quarter net income rose six per cent to $2.63 billion or 51 cents a share, as the company offset flat demand for its personal computer chips with higher sales of other products. Revenue rose three per cent to $13.83 billion . Analysts expected a profit of 52 cents per share on revenue of $13.72 billion and its shares fell 3.77 per cent in pre-market trading. Other stocks to watch Friday included retailer Dollarama Inc. (TSX:DOL), which said bad weather had a severe impact on its December sales but they have been trending back to normal levels. The Montreal -based retailer says comparable-store sales in the normally busy month were down 7.5 per cent, largely offsetting an 8.4 per cent increase in November. Analyst Irene Nattel at RBC Dominion Securities said the warning came as no surprise. "Extreme weather in Quebec and Ontario right before/around Xmas will have a negative impact on revenues for virtually all publicly traded retailers, most of which have extensive operations in those two provinces, which combined, account for 60 per cent of Canada's population." RBC also downgraded Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) to sector perform from outperform after the transport giant said that its flagship new airliner will be going into service later than expected. Its stock fell 7.74 per cent Thursday on the news. Meanwhile, a consortium led by Bombardier Transportation has won a US$4.1-billion contract from the State of Queensland in Australia to supply 75 electric passenger trains, a new depot and maintenance for 30 years. Bombardier's share is worth about US$2.7 billion . Royal Dutch Shell PLC issued a profit warning for the fourth quarter, saying results will be worse than most analysts expected due to a mix of lower production, higher costs, and a worse performance by its refining division. The company gave a provisional net profit figure of $1.8 billion for the quarter, down from $6.7 billion in the same period of 2012. Full earning figures are not due until Jan. 30 . And Crescent Point Energy Corp. (TSX:CPG) said it will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange starting next Wednesday under the ticker symbol CPG. On the commodity markets, the February crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 79 cents to US$94.75 a barrel. March copper gained two cents to US$3.36 a pound while February bullion rose $2.30 to US$1,242.50 an ounce. Earlier in Asia , Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.1 per cent lower, China's Shanghai Composite index sank 0.9 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.6 per cent, Australia's S&P ASX 200 fell 0.6 per cent and South Korea's Kospi was down 0.7 per cent. European bourses were positive with London's FTSE 100 index up 0.08 per cent, Frankfurt's DAX gained 0.31 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 advanced 0.05 per cert.
Most Popular Stories
- Koch Brothers Step up Anti-Obamacare Campaign
- Obama Administration Releases Proposal to Regulate For-Profit Colleges
- FDIC Sues Big Banks Over Rate Manipulation
- SoCalGas Reaches Record Spend on Diversity Suppliers
- Stocks Close Lower Ahead of Crimea Vote
- Vybz Kartel Convicted of Murder
- U.S. Consumer Sentiment Falls in Early March
- Is Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in Andaman Sea?
- Ulta Shares Look Good on Strong Q4
- FDIC Accuses Big Banks of Fraud, Conspiracy