News Column

Toronto stumbles at open

August 5, 2014

Sears Canada in focus

Canadian stocks stubbed their collective toes on Tuesday as traders returned after an extended weekend.

The S&P/TSX composite index moved lower 40.02 points, to open Tuesday at 15,175.24.

Markets in Toronto were closed Monday for Civic Holiday.

The Canadian dollar faded 0.33 cents at 91.36 cents U.S.

China is investigating a Canadian couple who ran a coffee shop on the Chinese border with North Korea for the suspected theft of military and intelligence information and for threatening national security, the country's foreign ministry said.

PetroChina plans to pay the more than $1 billion it needs to complete a takeover of the Dover oil sands project from Athabasca Oil by the end of September, a person with knowledge of the deal told Reuters. Athabasca shares gained a nickel to $6.34.

Sycamore Partners, which recently bought Jones Group, Talbots and Hot Topic, is considering a bid for Sears Canada, the New York Post reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. Sears shares warmed to the news, gaining 17 cents to $14.19.

BlackBerry has concluded a protracted and painful restructuring process and is back on a growth footing, according to an internal memo to all its employees. BlackBerry shares opened Tuesday up 33 cents, or 3.3%, to $10.48.

CIBC upgraded the rating on Canyon Services Group to outperform from sector performer. Canyon gained 15 cents to $16.24.


The TSX Venture Exchange sank 0.85 points to 999.78

The 14 Toronto subgroups were evenly divided between gainers and losers, with global base metals up 0.5%, industrials up 0.4% and telecoms, ahead 0.3%.

The seven laggards were weighed mostly by health-care, 2.2% sicker, gold, dimming in brilliance 1.8%, and materials, down 1.3%.


The three major indexes in the States all started the day down Tuesday. There's big retail and media news that investors are weighing as they try to figure out whether to buy or sell.

The Dow Jones Industrials retreated 46.34 points to 16,522.94

The S&P 500 lost 6.76 points to 1,932.23. The NASDAQ composite docked 13.67 points to 4,370.22.

Target reported that its holiday-season credit card breach cost $148 million U.S., to be offset with $38 million U.S. in insurance money. The company also lowered its guidance for the second quarter's earnings, which come out on August 20. Its stock is down 4%.

Gannett, which publishes USA Today, announced it would spin off its print assets, which include that newspaper and others across the U.S. The company follows in the path of a number of other media companies separating their print businesses from the more valuable TV and digital properties.

The company also said it would buy up the part of auto sales search engine it doesn't own for $1.8 billion.

Gannett's stock is flat.

Purse maker Coach impressed investors with a better-than-expected quarter, but the bar was set very low. Sales and profits did not fall as much as anticipated from the same time last year, but they still declined. North American sales dropped 16% in that time, though increasing international sales softened the blow. The stock is up 4%, leading the S&P 500 in morning trading.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries were lower, raising yields to 2.51% from Monday's 2.50%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices sank 33 cents to $97.95 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices weakened $3.10 to $1,285.80 U.S. an ounce.

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Source: Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada)

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