News Column

Toronto poised to open lower

July 8, 2014

Coutu in focus

Canadian stocks looked set to open lower on Tuesday

The S&P/TSX composite index finished down by 42.03 points to end Monday at 15,172.93, with futures off 0.2% on Tuesday.

The Canadian dollar peeked up 0.08 cents to 93.68 cents U.S. early Tuesday

Fewer Canadian firms expect to have difficulty meeting a surge in demand than did in the first quarter, the Bank of Canada said on Monday in a sign that pressures on production capacity are lessening rather than building.

Pharmacy chain Jean Coutu Group Inc reported higher quarterly sales, helped by demand for its high-margin generic drugs and the expansion of its network of franchised stores.

William Ackman'sPershing Square Capital Management proposed on Monday a slate of six directors for the board of Allergan as the hedge fund presses forward with its $53-billion takeover bid with Valeant Pharmaceuticals International for the Botox maker.

Barclays raised the target on Alimentation Couche-Tard to $33 from $30 with an overweight rating.


The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 7.13 points Monday to 1,030.63.


It's a downbeat start to Tuesday but all eyes will be on Alcoa as investors ponder whether corporate profits are strong enough to push stocks higher.

Ahead of the opening bell, futures for the Dow Jones Industrials fell 20 points, or 0.1%, to 16,926. Futures for the S&P 500 doffed 2.5 points, or 0.1%, to 1,968.50, and futures for the NASDAQ dropped 2.25 points, or 0.1%, to 3,902.

Aluminum producer Alcoa reports earnings after the closing bell, marking the start of the quarterly results season. Restaurant chain Bob Evans is also due to report after the market close.

Yahoo, which derives a chunk of its value from a stake in IPO candidate Alibaba, was up 1%. Otherwise few stocks were active before the open.

With the S&P 500 index already up 7% this year, investors will be looking closely to see whether corporate profits can support stocks and to what extent markets have been relying on cheap money from the U.S. Federal Reserve to push indexes to new records.

European markets were weaker, with airline and banking stocks under pressure. Air France KLM cut its earnings forecast due to overcapacity on routes to North America and Asia, and bank stocks took a hit from a New York Times report saying Germany's Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank are next in line for punishment by U.S. authorities. Sentiment was also soured by weaker than expected German export data for May.

Samsung warned that revenue and profit will fall in the second quarter as the company struggles to find new smartphone buyers in an already saturated market. The South Korea-based electronics maker warned that operating profit could fall to seven trillion won ($6.9 billion U.S.) -- a 26% decline from the previous year.

Oil prices sank nine cents to $103.44 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices added $6.40 to $1,323.40 U.S. an ounce.

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Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)

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