Futures Roar Higher

Investors Ponder Retail Sales

Stock futures pointed to a higher opening for equities in Canada’s largest centre on Thursday as investors digested a report on the country's retail sales data.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index surpassed Tuesday’s close by 84.57 points to end Wednesday at 15,524.01

The Canadian dollar was unchanged at 78.74 cents U.S. Thursday morning.

March futures popped 0.3% Thursday.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce reported first-quarter earnings ahead of market expectations, with strong performance from all its business units.

Magna International on Thursday reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, driven by higher sales in Europe and the launch of new cars for BMW and Jaguar.

Loblaw Cos on Wednesday said its quarterly profit fell as the company recorded $230 million in charges.

RBC cut the target price on High Liner Foods to $13.00 from $16.00

Desjardins raised the target price on Kirkland Lake Gold to $26.00 from $25.00

Canaccord Genuity cut the target price Spartan Energy to $7.50 from $8.25

CIBC raised the target price on Spin Master to $58.00 from $52.00

On the economic beat, Statistics Canada announced retail sales decreased 0.8% in December to $49.6 billion, after three straight monthly hikes.

Despite this decline, retail sales were up 1.5% in the fourth quarter and up 6.7% for the year.


The TSX Venture Exchange lost 4.75 points Wednesday to 820.07


U.S. stock index futures rose slightly on Thursday as investors shook off fears of rising interest rates.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped two points to 24,780.

S&P 500 futures gained 4.5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,703.25, while futures on the NASDAQ Composite added 10.5, or 0.2% to 6,771.

Hewlett Packard and Herbalife are among a spate of companies declaring earnings Thursday.

In economic data, initial jobless claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed by The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index at 10 a.m. ET and the Kansas City Fed manufacturing index, due out at 11 a.m. ET.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 retreated 1.1%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index plummeted 1.5%

Oil prices settled 13 cents to $61.55 U.S. per barrel.

Gold prices fell $5.30 to $1,326.80 U.S. an ounce.