Manulife, energy stocks lead parade
Equity markets in
The S&P/TSX composite index remained positive 41.31 points to greet noon at 13,922.30. The index is up 2.3% on the year so far.
The Canadian dollar gained
The market optimism offset sharp declines in Air Canada and Rogers Communications Inc after the two companies reported quarterly results.
Data that showed Chinese import growth in January touched a six-month high eased some concerns about the health of the world's second-biggest economy. The upbeat numbers helped push up oil prices and the shares of energy companies.
Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gained ground Manulife Financial Corp advanced 1.8% to
With a rise in the prices of Brent and U.S. crude oil, energy shares added strength. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd was up nearly 2% at
Shares of Air Canada tumbled 10.5% to
Rogers Communications reported declines in quarterly profit and revenue, hurt by government-mandated changes to its wireless pricing strategy and the cost of broadcasting more hockey games. The stock gave back 4.8% to
Shares of Canada Bread Co jumped 7.1% to
Eight of the 14 Toronto subgroups were positive by noon hour, led by energy stocks, up 1.1%, health-care, 0.9% haler, and financials, stronger by 0.7%
The half-dozen laggards were weighed mostly by gold, down 1.9%, telecoms, fading 1%, and materials, 0.8% to the bad.
Stocks were little changed early Wednesday, as investors took a bit of a breather following a four-day winning streak.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 38.05 points to break for noon at 15,956.72, as a slump in shares of Procter & Gamble weighed on the blue chip index. The company cut its sales and earnings guidance for the year due to the devaluation of emerging market currencies.
The S&P 500 index slipped 0.39 points to 1,819.36. The NASDAQ added 7.46 points to 4,198.51.
The readings follow Tuesday's huge rally, sparked by the realization that the Federal Reserve's monetary policy is unlikely to change much under new Federal Reserve chair
In testimony before the House, Yellen said the Fed will continue reducing its stimulus as the economy gradually improves. She added that recent emerging market turmoil posed no real risk to the economic outlook for
On the corporate front, Cisco is on tap to report quarterly earnings after the bell. Despite the broad gains on
Zillow is also slated to release its earnings report. The online real estate company's stock was up in early trading. Shares have more than doubled in the past 12 months.
Amazon shares were lower after UBS downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "buy." The online retailer also announced that it would hire 2,500 full-time workers at its fulfillment centers, in addition to the 20,000 that it hired last year.
Shares of ING Group jumped after the Dutch bank reported significant quarterly increases in earnings. French bank Societe Generale also reported a quarterly jump in profit.
S&P 500 companies DaVita HealthCare Partners and retailer Fossil were also big gainers after reporting quarterly earnings that beat expectations.
Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries dipped, raising yields to 2.76% from Tuesday's 2.72%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gained
Gold prices prospered
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