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Toronto moves ahead
The Toronto stock market made slight progress late morning Tuesday, even as commodity prices slid amid data showing China’s manufacturing sector barely in expansion mode in April.
The S&P/TSX index moved higher by 30.80 points to greet noon at 12,121.48
The Canadian dollar gave back 0.03 cents at 97.47 cents U.S.
The market was also pressured by earnings reports with traders expressing disappointment with Teck Resources and Rogers Communications.
The Chinese data raised fresh worries about demand and the base metals sector gave back strength as May copper on the Nymex fell two cents to $3.11 U.S. Goldman Sachs on Monday cut its three-, six- and 12-month copper forecasts following a heavy selloff over the past two months. Taseko Mines was down six cents to $2.04.
Teck Resources Ltd. posted an adjusted profit of $328 million, or 56 cents per share, in the first quarter, down from $544 million, or 93 cents per share in the same period last year. That beat analyst estimates of 37 cents a share.
Teck also said it achieved all-time record first quarter coal sales of 6.6 million tonnes despite relatively weak market conditions and repairs at Westshore terminals which continued into early February but its shares fell $1.17 to $24.84.
The energy sector gave back some of its strength as Canadian Natural Resources dropped 45 cents to $29.54.
Encana reported a $431-million U.S. net loss, or 59 cents per share, and $179 million or 24 cents per share of operating earnings in the three months ended March 31. The consensus estimate had been for nine cents per share of operating income, according to Thomson Reuters. Its shares slipped 10 cents to $19.19.
The gold sector also lost ground as bullion continued to lose its appeal with the component down 25% this month alone. The gold sector lost ground Tuesday as Goldcorp faded 79 cents to $28.53.
Telecoms were also weak as Rogers Communications gave back $1.69 to $50.39.
Rogers said after the markets closed Monday that quarterly net income rose 15% to $414 million. Earnings ex-items were 80 cents a share, three cents better than expected.
However, revenue missed, coming in at $2.94 billion, less than the $3.06 billion that analysts expected. Also, 32,000 postpaid subscribers signed up in the quarter in its wireless division, compared with 47,000 a year earlier.
The tech sector led advancers as Celestica Inc. reported it had 16 cents per share of adjusted earnings, or $30 million U.S., in the first quarter, down from a year earlier and a penny short of analyst estimates but at the high end of the contract manufacturing company’s own guidance.
The company’s revenue for the three months ended March 31 was $1.37 billion U.S., down about 19% from the same time last year due to the loss of work for Research In Motion, now called BlackBerry. Its shares rose 29 cents to $8.12.
On the economic ledger, Statistics Canada reported this morning that retail sales in this country rose 0.8% to $39.5 billion in February, running their monthly win streak to two. After removing the effects of price changes, especially hikes in gasoline prices, retail sales in volume terms were flat.
The TSX Venture Exchange slid 1.02 points to 943.33
Nine of the 14 Toronto subgroups were higher by noon, led by information technology issues, up 1.7%, while health-care stocks gained 0.7%, and real-estate grew 0.6%.
The five laggards were weighed mostly by gold stocks, down 1.4%, materials, sliding 0.8%, and the metals and mining group, off 0.5%.
Stocks headed higher Tuesday, as strong earnings and a positive reading on the housing market overshadowed gloomy news about the pace of global growth.
The Dow Jones Industrials reached noon ahead 144.99 points, or 1%, to 14,712.20
The S&P 500 index gained 16.48 points to 1,578.88. The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite moved higher by 39.42 points to 3,272.98
Shares of heavily shorted Netflix surged 24% Tuesday, after the streaming video service reported strong subscriber gains on Monday.
Travelers Companies helped lift the Dow, with shares climbing more than 2% after the insurer reported a rise in profits.
Shares of Coach jumped 10% after the upscale retailer posted better-than-expected sales and earnings.
Airlines have been on the news this week due to concerns about flight delays at airports resulting from the federal government's forced budget cuts. But Delta Air Lines and US Airways shares rose more than 5% after both airlines reported first-quarter profits.
Apple headlines the list of companies reporting after the close, and it will be looking to reverse a slide that has dropped its stock roughly 45% since September.
AT&T is also set to report in the afternoon, and analysts will be keeping an eye on iPhone sales. Last week, Verizon reported that iPhone sales dropped 33% in the first quarter from the fourth quarter of 2012.
Economically speaking, the U.S. Census Bureau said new home sales rose 1.5% in March to an annual rate of 417,000, just above economists' forecasts.
Prices on the 10-year U.S. Treasury slumped, raising yields to 1.71% from Monday’s 1.70%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices shed 15 cents to $89.04 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices dropped $10.10 to $1,411.10 U.S. an ounce