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TMCNet:  Negative start to Wednesday trading

[December 04, 2013]

Negative start to Wednesday trading

(Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) National Bank in focus Equity markets in Toronto noted a lower open on Wednesday as markets focused on economic data from both sides of the border.

The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 21.01 points to open the session at 13,298.86 The Canadian dollar ditched 0.16 cents at 93.75 cents U.S. early Wednesday Barrick Gold Corp. will name Ned Goodman, a veteran Canadian money manager, as a director and James Gowans, a former De Beers Canada chief executive, as its new chief operating officer, Dow Jones reported, quoting a person familiar with the matter. Barrick shares took on 12 cents to $16.63.

BlackBerry's interim chief executive recently appointed to revamp the mobile phone maker is in it "for the long haul", the company's largest shareholder Prem Watsa told Reuters. BlackBerry shares backtracked 12 cents to $6.60.

National Bank, Canada's sixth-largest lender, announced a two-for-one stock split and raised its dividend after reporting a 4% fall in fourth-quarter profit. National shares gained 75 cents to $91.65.

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported this morning that this country's merchandise imports declined 1.2% and exports decreased 0.3% in October. As a result, Canada's trade balance with the world went from a deficit of $303 million in September to a surplus of $75 million in October.

ON BAYSTREET The TSX Venture Exchange recovered 2.77 points to 918.06 Nine of the 14 TSX subgroups were lower to begin the day, weighed mostly by health-care, down 0.7%, financials, off 0.6%, and utilities, sliding 0.5%.

The five gainers were led by gold, up 1.2%, materials, up 0.8%, and global base metals, perking 0.7%.

ON WALLSTREET A strong job market wasn't good enough to pull stocks out of their recent funk. Instead, it seems to be making investors more nervous about what the U.S. Federal Reserve will do next.

The Dow gained a nervous 30.34 points to 15,945 The S&P 500 index inched higher 0.38 points to 1,795.53. The NASDAQ marched ahead 11.44 points to 4,048.64 In corporate news, J.C. Penney said Tuesday that same-store sales in November grew 10% from the same period last year. The stock, which has been the worst performer on the S&P 500 this year, is in the midst of a turnaround and has caught the attention of some major hedge funds.

But investors seemed unimpressed with the decent November sales. Shares of J.C. Penney were down 3% in early trading.

A report showed the economy added 215,000 private-sector jobs in November, according to payroll processor ADP -- well above the 160,000 gain that was expected.

The strong jobs numbers raised concerns about the Fed pulling back, or tapering, its $85-billion-U.S.-per-month bond-buying program.

Looking ahead, the Census Bureau will publish data on new home sales this morning. The Fed will release its Beige Book, a summary of regional economic conditions, at 2 p.m. ET.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries lost strength, raising yields to 2.84% from Tuesday's 2.78%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices hiked 69 cents to $96.73 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $6.80 to $1,227.60 U.S. an ounce.

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