News Column

Toronto to open higher

July 30, 2014

U.S. economic data awaited

Canadian stocks looked set to open higher on Wednesday, with September futures on up 0.2%

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 1.33 points to end Tuesday at 15,446.55

The Canadian dollar erased 0.10 cents to 92.04 cents U.S. early Wednesday

Thomson Reuters Corp reported a 1% rise in revenue on growth in its Legal and Tax & Accounting divisions.

Cenovus Energy said its second-quarter profit more than tripled, helped by increased production at its Christina Lake oil sands project in northern Alberta.

MEG Energy reported a second-quarter profit, compared with a year-earlier loss, helped by increased bitumen production in its oil sands operations and higher prices.

Torstar Corp reported a 7% decline in revenue in its media business, which publishes the country's largest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star.

Barclays raised the price target on George Weston to $89 from $86, with an equal-weight rating.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported this morning that its Industrial Product Price Index edged down 0.1% in June, mainly because of lower prices for motorized and recreational vehicles. The Raw Materials Price Index released in conjunction with industrial products -- rose 1.1%, largely as a result of higher prices for crude energy products.


The TSX Venture Exchange lost 3.35 points Tuesday to 1,016.50


Wall Street is waiting on key economic data releases Wednesday and the numbers could have a major impact on trading trends.

Ahead of the opening bell, futures for the Dow Jones Industrials gained 37 points, or 0.2%, to 16,882. Futures for the S&P 500 advanced five points, or 0.3%, to 1,968, and futures for the NASDAQ tacked on 15.25 points, or 0.4%, to 3,967.50.

Expect Twitter shares to soar when the opening bell rings. The stock is up by just over 25% pre-market after it posted surprisingly strong second-quarter sales.

Shares in Amgen were rising by about 3.5% pre-market after the company announced it was cutting up to 2,900 jobs, or about 12-15% of its workforce.

In London, investors pushed up Barclays shares by about 3.5% after the bank's first half earnings were well received.

Sprint is among the big name companies posting results before the opening bell. Kraft Foods and Whole Foods will report after the close.

The markets were eagerly awaiting U.S. GDP data, which came out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists predicted the economy grew at a 3% annual pace in the second quarter, after a shocking 2.9% contraction in the first.

Payroll processing firm ADP was due to release July employment data at 8:15 a.m. ET.

At 2 p.m. ET, the U.S. Federal Reserve will release a statement outlining its latest monetary policies. It's widely believed that the central bank will announce another $10-billion U.S. pullback in monthly bond purchases, but investors will be scrutinizing every word of the statement for clues as to when the Fed plans to raise interest rates.

Russia's benchmark stock index was rising by about 2%, with investors relieved that new European and U.S. sanctions against Russia were not as bad as feared.

European markets were all edging lower in midday trading, and shares in French energy producer Total fell by 2.5% as investors worried about its ties with Russia's Novatek, which is facing U.S. sanctions. Asian markets mostly closed with small gains.

Oil prices picked up 40 cents to $101.37 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices gained 50 cents to $1,298.80 U.S. an ounce.

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Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)

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