News Column

Flat noon for stocks

June 24, 2014

Health-care, financials in focus

Canada's main stock index was little changed on Tuesday as positive U.S. economic data was balanced by worries over the crisis in Iraq.

The S&P/TSX composite index dipped 1.82 points to greet noon at 15,103.81. The Toronto market, which reached a record closing high last week, is up about 11% this year.

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.08 cents at 93.10 cents U.S.

Shares of energy producers slipped slightly. Suncor Energy gave back 0.7% to $45.95, and Talisman Energy fell 0.6% to $11.50.

Financials climbed with Bank of Nova Scotia adding 0.3% to $71.43 and Toronto-Dominion Bank rising 0.2% to $54.74.

The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, progressed, benefiting from higher gold, silver and copper prices. First Quantum Minerals jumped 1.3% to $22.71.

A director at First Quantum said the company has delayed investment projects worth more than $1 billion in Zambia due to uncertainty over the fiscal regime in Africa's second biggest copper producer.


The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 2.20 points to 1,021.78

Eight of the 14 Toronto subgroups were lower, with gold sliding 1.8%, materials skidding 0.8% and global base metals off 0.6%.

The half-dozen gainers were led by health-care stocks, stronger by 0.4%, financials, making 0.3% in terms of headway, and consumer staples, up 0.2%.


Stocks hit fresh highs early Tuesday as investors finally found their beat. Upbeat reports on consumer sentiment and housing got the party started.

The Dow Jones Industrials took on 16.31 points to pause for lunch at 16,953.57

The S&P 500 nicked up 3.71 points to 1,966.32, and the NASDAQ composite gained 28.27 points to 4,396.95

Shares of Buffalo Wild Wing, the sports-themed restaurant chain, jumped 6% Monday after an analyst at Wunderlich Securities increased his price target for shares after seeing all the demand for the flagship wings for soccer games. But the stock was down in trading Tuesday as the enthusiasm waned a bit.

Carnival Corp reported quarterly results that topped expectations, but the company's forecasts for the rest of the year weren't as rosy. The stock dropped over 2%. The cruise line operator blamed fuel prices and currency exchange rates, which it said will reduce earnings full-year by six cents per share.

Walgreens said earnings rose nearly 16% in the first quarter, but the results missed analysts' expectations. Shares fell more than 1%.

Shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals soared 40% after the company said a study of its cystic fibrosis drug produced positive results.

Home prices throughout the United States continued to rise in April. The S&P/Case-Shiller index measuring the value of residential real estate in 20 U.S. cities increased 1.1%.

What's more, a measure of consumer sentiment rose to the highest level since Jan. 2008. The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence increased to 85.2 in May from 82.2 in April, suggesting that Americans remain optimistic about the economy.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries gained ground, lowering yields to 2.60% from Monday's 2.62%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 22 cents to $106.39 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained 70 cents at $1,319.10 U.S. an ounce.

For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel

Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)

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