Market Updates

Thursday,April 17,2014
10:39 AM EST

Stocks flat at open


Stocks in Canada’s biggest market were flat at the opening on Thursday, as investors digested inflation data, and as disappointing earnings from Google and IBM dampened the previous session's upbeat tone.


The S&P/TSX composite index fell 9.04 points, to begin Thursday at 14,437.48

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.32 cents at 90.79 cents U.S.

The consensus is that trading will be mild as folks head into a long weekend, resulting in somewhat volatile trade today. Markets are shuttered throughout North America for Good Friday.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said an interest rate cut is still a possibility even though the bank forecasts inflation will pick up speed this year and approach its 2% target.

A new poll out by Reuters shows Canada's economy will grow only modestly over the next two years and underperform the United States as high household debt levels and a cooling housing market restrain consumer spending.

Osisko Mining Corp said it has reached a $3.9-billion deal to sell most of its assets to Yamana Gold and Agnico Eagle Mines as it battles to thwart a hostile takeover bid from Goldcorp Inc, one of the world's biggest gold miners.

Osisko shares gained three cents to $7.97, while Yamana shares picked up a penny at $8.84, and Agnico Eagle advanced 78 cents, or 2.5%, to $31.49.

On the economic schedule, Statistics Canada reported that its consumer price index rose 1.5% in the 12 months to March, following a 1.1% increase in February.

The agency also said that the number of those receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits was little changed in February at 506,500. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of beneficiaries was down 4.9%.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange advanced 5.87 points to 997.97

All but four of the 14 Toronto subgroups were lower at the outset, as health-care stocks gave up 0.4% of their strength, and the consumer staple and material sectors each lost 0.3%.

The four gainers were led by information technology, picking up 0.3%, industrials, up 0.2%, and the metals and mining sector, up 1.1%.

ON WALLSTREET

Investors are weighing a mixed bag of earnings this morning that showed strength in banking and consumer staples, but weakness in technology.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surrendered 34.14 points to open at 16,390.71

The S&P 500 subtracted three points to 1,859.31, and the NASDAQ composite index dipped 4.71 to 4,081.52.

Shares of Pepsico are climbing. Better performance in the company's snack businesses outweighed mediocre results in soda sales.

Chipotle shares are also gaining. The restaurant chain missed earnings estimates but revenue came in higher than Wall Street had predicted. Even the winter weather didn't keep people from getting their burrito and guacamole fix.

Market belllwether General Electric is trading higher after reporting better than expected first quarter earnings, even though earnings and revenue still showed a decline.

Goldman Sachs is surging. The bilded bank firm strongly outperformed Wall Street expectations. Investment banking revenue was the highest since 2007.

Fellow financial powerhouse Morgan Stanley is also having a good day after reporting that first quarter earnings surged 63% and revenues grew 10%.

Technology companies, however, struggled.

IBM stock was down after posting disappointing earnings and revenue. It was the eighth straight quarter of revenue declines for Big Blue.

Shares of Google are also sinking after earnings that missed expectations. Google's ad volume was up 26%, but that still underwhelmed Wall Street.

China's Weibo begins trading today. Some have called Weibo the Twitter of China, but the company had to cut its offering from 20 million shares to just under 17 million, raising well less than expected.

Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries dipped, lifting yields to 2.66% from Wednesday’s 2.64%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 20 cents to $103.96 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices fell $1.70 to $1,301.80 U.S. an ounce.


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