Toronto finishes ahead
(Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) IT takes lumps
The Toronto stock market strengthened Tuesday afternoon as traders balanced economic data showing a better than expected read on U.S. retail sales against the standoff over raising the U.S. government's debt ceiling.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 38.88 points to end Tuesday at 12,641.97
Among gold stocks, Barrick Gold Corp. was ahead 52 cents at $34.19 and Goldcorp Inc. improved by 40 cents to $36.88.
The telecom sector gained as BCE Inc. ran ahead 46 cents to $42.57.
The utilities sector was up with Canadian Utilities 90 cents higher to $74.03.
The information technology sector got somewhat bruised as Research In Motion Ltd. gave back some of Monday's 10% surge, down 45 cents to $14.25. Elsewhere in the group, Celestica Inc. fell 15 cents to $8.15.
The base metals sector was off while March copper on the New York Mercantile Exchange shed early losses and closed unchanged at $3.64 U.S. a pound. HudBay Minerals was unchanged from Monday at $11.01.
On the TSX, Eastern Platinum gained three cents to 26 cents.
The energy sector dipped and Canadian Natural Resources gave back 16 cents to $29.10
Corus Entertainment Inc. will raise its dividend by more than 6%. The entertainment and media company announced the increase late Monday as it reported higher first-quarter earnings. Net income attributable to shareholders was $52.2 million or 62 cents per diluted share, up 3% from the year-earlier period.
However, Corus said its consolidated revenues slipped to $226.1 million, down 5% from $236.9 million the previous year. Corus shares gained 23 cents to $24.46.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. shares fell three dollars, or 4.2%, to $68.17 after it said Monday that it now expects diluted earnings per share of 74 cents for the current quarter. That compared with earlier guidance of between 71 and 73 cents per share. But it forecast revenue near the $475-$480 million previously forecast, below analyst expectations of $488.1 million.
Economically speaking, figures released this morning by the Canadian Real Estate Association, national home sales activity was little changed on a month-over-month basis in December 2012, holding it in line with levels reported in August when demand first geared down in the wake of tighter mortgage lending rules.
The number of home sales processed through the MLS Systems of real estate Boards and Associations in Canada edged down 0.5% on a month-over-month basis in December 2012.
The TSX Venture Exchange forged out a gain of 2.26 points to 1,231.79
All but four of the 14 Toronto subgroups gained ground Tuesday, led by gold, shining 0.8% brighter, utilities, advancing 0.7%, and telecoms, better by 0.6%.
The quartet of laggards was weighed mostly by information technology, down 1.1%, while real-estate dropped 0.2%, and industrials stuttered 0.1%.
U.S. stocks were mixed Tuesday, as investors sat on the sidelines ahead of corporate earnings later this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average grew positive by 27.57 points to close at 13,534.90
The S&P 500 gained 1.99 points to 1,472.67. The Nasdaq Composite pointed down 6.72 points to 3,110.78
Homebuilder Lennar reported earnings that beat expectations, yet shares fell more than 2%.
Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase will report results Wednesday, while Intel, Bank of America and General Electric are due later in the week.
Overall, S&P 500 companies are expected to report earnings growth of 3.2% for the last three months of 2012, according to S&P's Capital IQ.
Dell shares rose more than 5%, extending the previous day's rally that was sparked by reports of the PC maker considering a buyout.
Shares of Facebook dropped more than 1% following the company's announcement that it plans to add a search feature to the social network.
Shares of Yelp, a site that offers user-generated reviews of businesses and restaurants, dropped sharply after Facebook's announcement. The Facebook news didn't appear to affect shares of Google Inc
On the economic front, U.S. producer prices for December came in lower than expected, falling 0.2%, and the index measuring manufacturing activity in New York State came in negative for the sixth straight month in January, according to the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
U.S. retail sales rose 0.5% in December, led by an improvement in auto sales. The numbers modestly beat expectations.
Business inventories for November increased 0.3% slightly more than analysts had forecast, according to data released by the Census Bureau.
Prices on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note spiked, lowering yields to 1.83% from Monday's 1.86%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices dipped 69 cents to $93.45 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices improved $10.60 an ounce to $1,681.20 U.S.
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