News Column

Stocks unchanged at open

August 21, 2014



Bombardier again in focus







Stocks in Canada's biggest market were somewhat diffident to begin Thursday, a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve issued the minutes from its most recent meeting.

The S&P/TSX composite index faded 8.57 points to begin Thursday at 15,553.38.

The Canadian dollar was up 0.14 cents at 91.30 cents U.S.

An experimental drug from Tekmira Pharmaceuticals helped lab monkeys recover from the most deadly strain of Marburg virus, a close cousin of Ebola, even after symptoms appeared. Tekmira shares shot up 98 cents, or 5%, to $20.41.

Bombardier has appointed a company veteran to head its new Aerostructures and Engineering Services division, it said, the most recent change at the company as it struggles to push its new CSeries aircraft into commercial service. Bombardier shares were unchanged at $3.79.

Canaccord Genuity raised the price target on Canadian Western Bank to $44.00 from $42.00. Western shares gained 72 cents, or 1.7%, to $43.17.

Speaking of things economic, Statistics Canada reported this morning that the number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits was little changed in June at 501,900, this, following a slight decline in May.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange sagged 0.69 points to 996.01

Seven of the 14 Toronto subgroups were higher to begin the day, as consumer staples and financials each moved higher by 0.4%, and utilities were higher by 0.2%.

Gold weighed most heavily on the six lower subgroups, followed by materials, down 1.6%, and global base metals, down 1.1%. Health-care stocks were flat to begin the day.

ON WALLSTREET

U.S. stocks advanced early Thursday, as the S&P 500 worked for a fourth straight day of gains and moved above its July 24 record close.

The Dow Jones Industrials moved up 49.02 points to open Thursday at 17,028.15

The S&P 500 moved higher 3.17 points to 1,989.68. The NASDAQ dipped 4.77 points to 4,521.71.

Sears Holdings Corp. fell 5.7% after posting a large loss and margins shrank.

Dollar Tree Inc. was down 1.8% after reporting quarterly results and as Family Dollar Stores Inc. reaffirmed its support for Dollar Tree's takeover bid, rejecting a rival offer from Dollar General Corp.

Hewlett-Packard Co. rose 1.7% after the tech pioneer's third-quarter profit fell, but beat forecasts late Wednesday. Retailer Gap Inc. which rose 0.4% will grab the spotlight after the closing bell.

In economic news, initial jobless claims fell by 14,000 to 298,000 last week, basically in line with the 300,000 claims expected by economists.

Three other economic reports were due later, the most closely watched of which may be existing-home sales for July, which economists expect to hold steady. Also out at that time: the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey for August and leading indicators for July.

With time to mull it over, investors appeared to further shrug off the Fed minutes released Wednesday that showed some officials arguing the groundwork should be laid for raising interest rates sooner than expected. A Thursday report showing a three-month low for Chinese factory data was also brushed aside.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries were unchanged, keeping yields at Wednesday's 2.41%.

Oil prices inched up 13 cents to $93.58 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices were felled $17.60 at $1,277.60 U.S. an ounce.


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Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)


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