News Column

Futures trade higher

July 24, 2014



Focus remains on earnings







Futures pointed to a slightly higher opening for Canada's main stock index on Thursday as the corporate reporting season picks up.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 79.25 points to close Wednesday at 15,394.38, with futures up 0.1%.

The Canadian dollar nicked up 0.02 cents to 93.23 cents U.S. early Thursday

Potash Corp of Saskatchewan raised its full-year earnings outlook after second-quarter profit fell less than expected due to growing global fertilizer demand.

Encana posted a steeper-than-expected 31% fall in quarterly operating profit, hurt by lower gas production and prices.

Struggling with long delays in its CSeries jetliner, Bombardier announced on Wednesday that it will reorganize its business and cut 1,800 jobs.

National Bank Financial raised the target price on BCE to $51.50

On the economic slate, Statistics Canada reported that those receiving regular employment insurance benefits fell by 12,100 or 2.3%, after a year of little change. The total number of beneficiaries for the month was 504,100.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 1.35 points Wednesday to 1,012.23.

ON WALLSTREET

Upbeat economic data and strong corporate earnings could drive markets to another record Thursday.

Ahead of the opening bell, futures for the Dow Jones Industrials gained 25 points, or 0.2%, to 17.050. Futures for the S&P 500 gained 4.25 points, or 0.2%, to 1,985, and futures for the NASDAQ increased 14 points, or 0.4%, to 3,989.50.

General Motors said, in its earnings report, that it expects to pay between $400 million and $600 million U.S. to compensation victims of its faulty ignition switches, which have been linked to at least 13 deaths. As a result, GM will take a $1.2-billion U.S. pre-tax charge.

The report comes one day after GM recalled another 718,000 vehicles.

Other companies also reported early Wednesday.

Dunkin' Donuts shares fell in pre-market trading after the company missed sales forecasts, which Dunkin' blamed on faltering Japanese sales of Baskin-Robbins ice cream.

Ford shares moved higher after the automaker reported a quarterly pre-tax profit of $2.6 billion U.S., including its first profit in Europe in three years.

Shares of United Airlines rose 2% after the carrier announced a 51% surge in quarterly net income. The airline also announced a $1-billion U.S. share repurchase program.

Starbucks and Visa will report after the close.

Facebook shares surged nearly 9% after posting earnings that blew away expectations.

Qualcomm shares plunged 5% pre-market, with worries over the company's business in China keeping investors on edge. Qualcomm is being investigated under China's anti-monopoly law. The tech firm said in its quarterly report that some clients in the country are "not fully complying with their contractual obligations."

AT&T slipped pre-market after reporting earnings that missed expectations by a penny.

Amazon and Pandora will report after the close.

Economically speaking, the U.S. government will report weekly jobless claims and new home sales made in June this morning.

China's factories are motoring again after a dismal start to the year, with a preliminary estimate of manufacturing activity hitting an 18-month high in July.

There was good news from Europe too, with a survey of purchasing managers matching a three-year high seen in April. European markets were mainly firmer, as were most Asian markets, although Japan'sNikkei slipped.

Oil prices dipped 20 cents to $102.92 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices slid $6.60 to $1,298.10 U.S. an ounce.



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Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)


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