News Column

Small stumble for markets

February 5, 2014

TMX, Intact Equity markets in Toronto fell slightly short of breakeven at the open on Wednesday, even as upbeat euro-zone economic data pointed to a gradual recovery in the currency bloc. The S&P/TSX composite index inched back 1.45 points to open at 13,503.03 The Canadian dollar dumped 0.27 cents to 89.96 cents U.S. TMX Group Ltd reported a fourth-quarter profit that comfortably beat analysts' estimate as trading activity improved. The company that runs the Toronto Stock Exchange saw its shares grow 61 cents to $50.47 . Intact Financial Corp reported a 40% drop in fourth-quarter profit, hurt mainly by severe winter weather, but raised its dividend. Intact shares gave back 95 cents to $66.56 . Osisko Mining Corp. has another month to find a white knight after a Quebec Superior Court judge set a trial date in early March to hear the merits of a lawsuit the Montreal gold miner brought against its hostile suitor Goldcorp Inc. Osisko shares took on eight cents to $6.67 while Goldcorp shares increased 54 cents to $28.36 . The euro-zone's private sector logged its busiest month in two and a half years in January as strong manufacturing growth outshone a more modest expansion in services activity, surveys showed. On matters economic, figures released by Statistics Canada revealed that building permits issued by Canadian municipalities declined 4.1% to $6.5 billion in December, following a 6.6% decrease in November. The agency added that lower construction intentions for commercial buildings and multi-family dwellings in Ontario and British Columbia were responsible for much of the decrease at the national level in December. ON BAYSTREET The TSX Venture Exchange slid 1.18 to start out at 946.53 The 14 Toronto subgroups were evenly split between winners and losers, as gold spiked 0.8%, materials improved 0.4%, and metals and mining prospered 0.3%. The seven laggards were weighed mostly by telecoms, down 1%, health-care, less robust by 0.4%, and consumer staples, 0.2% to the bad. ON WALLSTREET Stocks slid on a cold and wet Wednesday morning on Wall Street . The Dow Jones Industrial Average skidded 12.48 points to begin the day at 15,432.76. The Dow has fallen by nearly 7% since the start of 2014. The S&P 500 index moved lower by 11.72 points to 1,743.48. The NASDAQ subtracted 39.24 points to 3,992.28 CVS Caremark said it will stop selling tobacco products, starting Oct. 1 . Shares were down slightly in early trading. Merck reported earnings and sales in line with forecasts, while GlaxoSmithKline raised its dividend as it posted earnings-per-share that came in slightly below expectations. Both stocks were up. Time Warner announced a new $5-billion U.S. share buyback program as it reported slightly better-than-expected earnings. But the stock fell more than 2%. Twitter will report quarterly results after the close -- the first since last year's IPO. Shares of mobile chip company ARM Holdings continued to slide after posting a sharp drop Tuesday. ARM's stock has fallen by 20% since the start of 2014 Investors have been rattled by concerns about emerging markets, where central banks have been struggling to shore up shaky currencies. Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve has been scaling back its bond-buying program. On Wednesday, payroll processor ADP said that 175,000 jobs were added in January. That was in line with expectations but was the slowest level of growth since August. The government will release its latest figures about job growth and the unemployment report on Friday. Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries faded, driving up yields to 2.64% from Tuesday's 2.62%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions. Oil prices gained 46 cents to $97.65 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices hiked $6.60 to $1,257.80 U.S. an ounce.

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Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)

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