Toronto stock market heads for positive open amid mixed earnings reports - InfoNews

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Toronto stock market heads for positive open amid mixed earnings reports

People walk in Toronto's financial district in Toronto, on Oct. 29, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
January 14, 2014 - 5:24 AM

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market looked set for a higher open Tuesday amid strong earnings reports and mixed commodity prices.

The Canadian dollar gave back all of Monday's advance of almost 1/2 a cent, falling 0.44 of a cent to 91.76 cents US.

U.S. futures were higher after selling off Monday on concerns about what the Federal Reserve may do about further cutting back on its key stimulus program and worries about whether the American equity markets are looking too expensive.

The Dow Jones industrial futures rose 30 points to 16,244 after the blue chip index plunged 179 points. The Nasdaq futures ran up 7.8 points to 3,517.3 and the S&P 500 futures rose 3.75 points to 1,818.75.

Traders have been wondering what the Fed may do about further tapering of its massive purchases of bonds and other assets in the wake of last Friday's big miss on December job creation.

And, with the fourth quarter earnings season about to get into gear, Goldman Sachs' chief equity strategist David Kostin warned that the S&P 500 index's valuation is "lofty by almost any measure."

The S&P 500 rocketed about 30 per cent last year, helped in large measure by Fed stimulus. Investors now want to see if strong earnings and revenue can justify that gain and push stock prices higher.

On Tuesday, JPMorgan Chase shares were up slightly in pre-market trading as the biggest U.S. bank by assets said it returned to a profit in the fourth quarter. Net income came in at $5.3 billion, compared with a profit of $5.7 billion in the same period a year earlier. Ex-items earnings per share were $1.40 versus the $1.35 that analysts had forecast.

The bank posted a loss in the third quarter, its first such quarterly negative showing in 10 years. Revenue fell one per cent to $24.1 billion, just above analysts’ expectations of $23.9 billion.

Wells Fargo turned in fourth quarter earnings of $1 per share, two cents better than analysts had forecast. Revenue came in at $20.7, better than the $20.69 that had been expected but its shares were off 0.5 per cent.

Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX:CRJ.B) posted adjusted net income of $55.2 million, or 65 cents a share, three cents higher than estimates. Revenue for the three months ended Nov. 30 was $226 million, up from $209 million a year earlier and just short of estimates.

Corus also said it is raising its dividend seven per cent. It will rise to about $1.09 per class B share on an annual basis, or about nine cents per month starting Feb. 28.

On Monday night, telecommunications and media company Cogeco Inc. (TSX:CGO) reported quarterly profit of $23.1 million, or $1.37 per diluted share, up from $18.5 million, or $1.10 per share in the same year earlier period. Revenue soared 41 per cent to $517 million from $366.6 million.

Its main subsidiary, Cogeco Cable Inc. (TSX:CCA) saw its quarterly revenue soar 44.9 per cent to $475 million, missing expectations of $478,.35 million. Net profit increased to $49.7 million or $1.01 per diluted share, up from $42.1 million or 86 cents per diluted share a year ago but missing forecasts by three cents.

Traders will also take in earnings from Shaw Communications (TSX:SJR.B) during the day.

Elsewhere on the corporate front, bidding for a coveted piece of Canada’s wireless market starts today. The 700 megahertz waves are particularly valuable because they allow cellphone signals to travel longer distances and penetrate buildings and tunnels where calls are often dropped. Ten players are in the game, including Canada’s big three telecom companies: Bell (TSX:BCE), Rogers (TSX:RCI.B) and Telus (TSX:T). Among regional bidders are Quebecor’s Videotron (TSX:QBR.B) in Quebec and MTS Inc. (TSX:MBT) in Manitoba. But Wind Mobile’s parent, Globalive Communications, pulled out Monday due to a lack of funds.

On the commodity markets, the February crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 34 cents to US$92.14 a barrel.

March copper was unchanged at US$3.35 a pound while February bullion declined $2.70 to US$1,248.40 an ounce.

European bourses were weak as London's FTSE 100 index added 0.04 per cent, Frankfurt's DAX declined 0.25 per cent while the Paris CAC 40 dipped 0.08 per cent.

Asian stocks ended mostly lower, with Japan leading declines after trading there resumed following a holiday Monday. The Nikkei 225 dived 3.1 per cent. Investors got their first chance since Friday to react to the U.S. jobs report as well as the movement in the yen, which has risen strongly since last week.<

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.4 per cent and Seoul’s Kospi dropped 0.2 per cent, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 sank 1.5 per cent but China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.9 per cent.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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