News Column

Stocks list slightly lower

July 24, 2014

Potash, Encana in spotlight

Equities in Toronto faltered slightly after Thursday's opening bell, as the corporate reporting season picked up

The S&P/TSX composite index ditched 11.08 points to open Thursday at 15,383.30

The Canadian dollar was down 0.05 at 93.16 cents U.S.

Potash Corp of Saskatchewan raised its full-year earnings outlook after second-quarter profit fell less than expected due to growing global fertilizer demand. Potash shares gained 65 cents to $39.46.

Encana posted a steeper-than-expected 31% fall in quarterly operating profit, hurt by lower gas production and prices. Encana shares tacked on 29 cents to $23.99.

Struggling with long delays in its CSeries jetliner, Bombardier announced on Wednesday that it will reorganize its business and cut 1,800 jobs. Bombardier added two cents to $3.76.

National Bank Financial raised the target price on BCE to $51.50. BCE shares docked 18 cents to $49.64.

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


The TSX Venture Exchange gained 1.67 points to 1,010.56.

The 14 Toronto subgroups were evenly divided between gainers and losers, with metals & mining up 1.3%, consumer staples up 0.6%, and telecoms, up 0.4%.

The seven laggards were weighed mostly by gold, down 1.1%, energy, down 0.4%, and industrials, off 0.2%.


The S&P 500 rose to another new high Thursday and is now within range of 2,000.

The Dow Jones Industrials inched up 4.24 points to 17,090.87.

The S&P 500 gained 0.13 points to 1,987.14. The NASDAQ composite dropped 5.88 points to 4,467.82.

Overall, corporate earnings for the second quarter have been strong. Of the 148 members of the S&P 500 that have reported earnings as of Wednesday, 102 have been better than expected, according to S&P Capital IQ.

Facebook shares soared 7% to a record after posting earnings that blew away expectations.

Qualcomm shares plunged due to worries over the company's business in China. 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 after reporting earnings that missed expectations by a penny.

Amazon and Pandora will report after the close.

Caterpillar shares fell after the construction equipment maker lowered the mid-point of its 2014 sales outlook, citing weakness in China. 3M shares edged higher after the company reported earnings that met analysts' expectations.

General Motors 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.

Rival automaker Ford reported a quarterly pre-tax profit of $2.6 billion, including its first profit in Europe in three years. Shares rose 1%.

Dunkin' Donuts shares fell after the company missed sales forecasts, which it blamed on weakness in the U.S. and faltering Japanese sales of Baskin-Robbins ice cream. Under Armor shares jumped on better-than-expected results.

Shares of United Airlines rose 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.

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell to a more than eight-year low, according to the U.S. Labor Department's weekly report.

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.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries fell, raising yields to 2.50% from Wednesday's 2.46%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices docked 23 cents to $102.89 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dipped $12.40 to $1,292.40 U.S. an ounce.

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Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)

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