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TSX to rise following string of losses, traders look to economic data, earnings

The Toronto Stock Exchange Broadcast Centre is shown in Toronto on June 28, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim
January 07, 2014 - 5:30 AM

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market looked set to move higher Tuesday following three days of losses amid a heavy slate of economic coming up this week and optimism about fourth quarter earnings.

The Canadian dollar was down 0.32 of a cent at 93.56 cents US ahead of the release of international trade data for November.

U.S. markets have also had a negative start so far to 2014 trading but futures were firmly in positive territory Tuesday morning as traders also looked to the latest U.S. trade figures for November.

The Dow Jones industrial futures jumped 71 points to 16,436, the Nasdaq futures ran ahead 16.2 points to 3,534 and the S&P 500 futures gained 6.75 points to 1,827.5.

North American markets finished lower Monday in the wake of data showing the U.S. service sector still expanding during last month but at a slower pace.

The most closely watched economic report of the week will come on Friday. Economists forecast that about 195,000 jobs were created during December in the United States.

The reading will help the Federal Reserve determine how quickly it withdraw from a key stimulus program, its US$85 billion of monthly bond purchases. The central bank said last month it would taper those purchases by $10 billion starting this month.

Traders also looked to the release of the minutes from the Fed meeting last month for clues on further tapering along with its latest reading on the economy.

Canadian jobs figures will also be released Friday.

Thursday marks the start of what will be a flood of fourth-quarter corporate earnings over the next few weeks with resource giant Alcoa leading off.

Investors hope earnings will help justify the sharp 30 per cent runup in the S&P 500 last year. But there has been a steady drip of revised expectations recently.

Earnings from S&P 500 companies are expected to have risen 6.3 per cent in the fourth quarter. That’s slower than the 9.3 per cent growth analysts expected, on average, at the end of September, according to FactSet.

That would follow third quarter profit growth of $39.2 billion, compared with a gain of $66.8 billion in the second quarter.

On the commodity markets, the February crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 58 cents to US$94.01 a barrel.

March copper was unchanged at US$3.36 a pound while February bullion was off 20 cents to US$1,237.80 an ounce.

In corporate news, quarterly earnings at Samsung Electronics Co. fell for the first time in two years as sales of smartphones and tablets slowed in developed countries. The South Korean company estimated an operating profit of 8.3 trillion won (US$7.8 billion), a six per cent decline over a year earlier. The result was lower than forecast by analysts and an 18 per cent drop from the third quarter. Sales rose 5 per cent to 59 trillion won ($55.4 billion).

San Francisco’s transit system has awarded a US$639-million confirmed order to Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B), part of a contract signed in June 2012. Bombardier Transport says Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has ordered an additional 365 rail cars, bringing the number of firm orders under the contract to 775 cars.

European markets were higher as London's FTSE 100 index rose 0.48 per cent, Frankfurt's DAX climbed 0.6 per cent while the Paris CAC 40 was ahead 0.4 per cent.

Data out last week showing renewed weakness in China’s manufacturing helped depress Asian markets as Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.6 per cent down while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.1 per cent.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.1 per cent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.2 per cent.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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