News Column

TSX up slightly on earnings

May 13, 2014



Valeant deal still in vogue







Positive earnings reports helped send the Toronto stock market slightly higher Tuesday.

The S&P/TSX composite index improved 24.87 points to end the day at 14,679.81

The Canadian dollar settled 0.11 cents to 91.68 cents U.S.

In M&A developments, Quebec-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. said it plans to improve its offer for Botox-maker Allergan. The U.S. company on Monday rejected Valeant's $47-billion U.S. hostile takeover bid, saying it undervalued Allergan.

Valeant said in a letter to Allergan shareholders that it will outline the improved offer during a webcast/conference call May 28. Valeant shares were 58 cents lower at $141.40 in Toronto.

On Tuesday, oil and gas producer Encana Corp. said quarterly cash flow nearly doubled to $1.09 billion, or $1.48 per share, and its shares gained 49 cents to $25.09.

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust said that quarterly funds from operations rose 2% to $127 million or 42 cents per unit. Its units gave up 11 cents to $27.58.

Shares in home improvement retailer Rona Inc. added 11 cents to $11.04 as the company lost $16.6 million or 14 cents per share in the latest quarter, compared with a loss of $36.1 million or 30 cents per share a year ago. Revenue fell to $764.3 million from $832.9 million.

The gold sector declined as Barrick Gold shares inched back nine cents to $18.83.

The base metals sector was off as July copper slipped a penny to $3.14 U.S. a pound after running up over 2% Monday. Teck Resources added 17 cents to $25.56.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange inched its way up 0.09 points to 988.35

Eight of the 14 Toronto subgroups were positive by day's end, as energy issues climbed 0.7%, information technology clicked 0.5%, and telecoms gained 0.4%.

The half-dozen laggards were weighed mostly by gold, off 0.7%, while real-estate issues slipped 0.4%, and utilities descended 0.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

The S&P 500 touched 1,900 for the first time ever on Tuesday, although the index closed just below that threshold, and the NASDAQ lost some ground.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 19.97 points over yesterday's all-time high finish, to 16,715.44

The S&P 500 gained 0.80 points to 1,897.45, but the NASDAQ composite index sagged 13.69 points to 4,130.17

This marked the third consecutive record close for the Dow and S&P 500 while the NASDAQ continues to underperform its peers this year amid a rotation away from momentum stocks, especially in tech.

The S&P 500 has achieved recent milestones at a very fast pace.

After first crossing over the 1,500 line in March 2000, it took the S&P 500 13 years to eclipse the 1,600 mark, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. But the broad index then logged the next four round number milestones all in the past year.

In response to the disappointing data, consumer discretionary stocks were among the weakest performers on Tuesday.

Investors shed exposure to a number of retail stocks, including Dollar Tree and Target. Earnings reports from J.C. Penney and Nordstrom are due out later this week.

The government also said electronics and appliance store sales slid 2.3% last month, driving shares of Whirlpool almost 3% into the red.

Consumer financial stocks ran into resistance after a new Federal Reserve report showed the amount of credit-card debt outstanding dropped in the first quarter to the lowest level on record going back to 2003. Discover Financial and American Express both closed lower.

Investors continue to see many power plays at the stock level. They guzzled down shares of Keurig Green Mountain, which soared over 7.5% after Coca-Cola announced plans to boost its stake in the company to 16%. The move represents a vote of confidence from the world's largest beverage maker and follows an initial 10% stake acquired in February.

Elizabeth Arden plummeted almost 23% after disclosing a 20% sales tumble and a surprise loss amid weak store traffic. The cosmetics company also tapped Goldman Sachs to explore a possible sale or other options.

DirecTV reversed course and ended in the red despite reports indicating AT&T could quickly clinch a $50-billion U.S. bid to buy the satellite TV company. Rival Dish Network pared early losses and closed narrowly higher.

Mergers and acquisitions continue to drive a lot of the upbeat mood on Wall Street.Valeant Pharmaceuticals signaled plans to raise its $46-billion U.S. offer to acquire Allergan, which the Botox maker formally rejected on Monday.

Investors will also be focusing on developments in the pharmaceutical industry. The American drug maker Pfizer wants to buy Britain's AstraZeneca and both CEOs will appear before a U.K. parliamentary committee to answer questions about the potential takeover.

The earnings front was largely quiet, but Fossil and Take-Two Interactive are on tap to report results after the closing bell.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries gained ground, lowering yields to 2.62% from Monday's 2.66%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions

Oil prices tacked on $1.28 to $101.87 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained three dollars to $1,293.80 U.S. an ounce.


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Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)