Closing Bell TSX drops as uncertainty about world economy leaves traders pessimistic

October 8, 2019

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TORONTO — The Toronto stock market turned negative on Tuesday as traders began to think twice about the optimism they’ve had over Europe’s efforts to rescue its struggling economy.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 11664.71 -0.79% -93.17S&P 500 — 1379.32 -0.43% -5.98Dow — 13008.68 -0.49% -64.33Nasdaq — 2939.52 -0.21% -6.32The S&P/TSX composite index weakened 93.17 points to close at 11,664.71, with most of the decline coming in afternoon trading. The TSX Venture Exchange slipped 1.35 points to 1,183.01.The Canadian dollar fell 0.11 of a cent to 99.71 cents US.Hopes began to fade over how much the European Central Bank will do to help countries with crippling debt when it meets on Thursday.Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has started its two-day policy meeting, and is expected to announce some kind of new step to energize the U.S. economy, though the timing is still in question.Some economists have suggested that the Fed isn’t convinced that the U.S. economic slowdown is in such a state to warrant further economic stimulus — and recent economic data has shown some positive elements.“If the Fed and the ECB don’t do anything, as some economists expect, it’s going to be quite disappointing for investors,” said John Johnston, chief strategist at David Rea Ltd. in an interview.“If they just barely meet expectations by doing something typical and not overly aggressive then I think the equity markets are vulnerable to some profit taking.”In U.S. economic data, consumer confidence rose in July for the first time in four months. The Conference Board said the confidence index increased to 65.9, from 62.7 in June. That’s the highest reading since April and better than the reading of 62 that economists had forecast.However, the index sits notably lower than 90, which indicates a healthy economy.Also, U.S. home prices rose in May from April in every city tracked by a leading index, a sign that increasing sales and tight inventories are supporting a modest housing recovery. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index showed a measure of national prices rose 2.2% from April to May, the second increase after seven months of flat or declining readings.On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average declined 64.33 points to 13,008.68 and the Nasdaq was down 6.32 points at 2,939.52. The S&P fell back 5.98 points to 1,379.32.In commodities, the September crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was down $1.72 to US$88.06 a barrel near midday. Earlier in the session, crude had been above Monday’s close.September copper moved up 1.5 cents to US$3.42 a pound while August gold ended off $9.20 at US$1,610.50 an ounce.In corporate developments, Rona Inc. shares were up 13.7% after the company rebuffed an unsolicited takeover from Lowe’s Companies worth $1.76-billion. The Montreal-area company said the offer from its American rival wouldn’t be in its shareholders’ best interest, but Lowe’s said it intended to further pursue a transaction. Rona shares rose $1.63 to $13.50.In earnings news, Thomson Reuters says its adjusted profit rose to 54 cents per share, compared to 51 cents per share in the second quarter of 2011. Its diluted earnings per share, under IFRS, was $1.11 per share up from 67 cents per share in the second quarter of 2011. Overall revenue fell by 4% to US$3.3-billion from $3.4-billion. Shares backed off 50 cents to $28.44.Inmet Mining (TSX:IMN) said higher copper sales volumes helped push its second quarter earnings up 74% from profits reported a year earlier. The company reported net income of US$94.2-million or $1.36 per share for the quarter ended June 30, compared to $54.3 million or 83 cents per share for the same period a year earlier. Inmet shares gained 5%, or $1.81 to $39.89.A federal arbitrator has sided with Air Canada in its labour dispute with the union representing its pilots. The five-year collective agreement will be effective until April 2016, and would, among other things, include provisions allowing the airline to create a budget carrier. Shares were up six cents, to $1.14.Canadian cheese and dairy giant Saputo saw profits fall 4% in the latest reported quarter, affected by lower cheese prices in the U.S. and an inventory writedown. The company posted earnings of $121.8-million, off from $126.6 million a year ago. Revenue came in at $1.7-billion, up nearly four% year over year. Shares of the company dropped $1.34 to $42.73.George Weston Ltd. says it expects full-year 2012 results will be lower than last year, mainly due to costs at its Loblaw grocery division. The bakery and grocery company said second-quarter profits dropped 15% to $196-million, of which $137-million was attributable to common shareholders. Overall revenue increased 1.3% to $7.6-billion. Its shares fell 59 cents to $59.25.Toromont Industries Ltd. (TSX:TIH) says its second-quarter profit from continuing operations was $25.7-million, an improvement from the comparable period last year when it earned $159.7-million. The profit amounted to 34 cents per share, two cents per share below a consensus estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters. Toromont shares were down 10 cents to $20.85.Here’s the news investors were watching today:Rona shares soar after it spurns Lowe’s takeover offerApple to launch new iPhone at Sept. 12 event: sourcesCanada’s economic growth slowsStock investing as we know it will soon be dead: PIMCO’s Bill GrossWhat to expect from the Fed this weekON DECK WEDNESDAYECONOMIC NEWSU.S. Federal Reserve’s rate decision at 2:15 p.m. CANADA9:30 a.m.RBC Manufacturing PMI (July) UNITED STATES8:15 a.m.ADP National Employment Report (July): Economists expect 120,000 jobs, down from the month before 8:58 a.m.Markit Manufacturing PMI: Economists expect a reading of 51.8 10 a.m.ISM Index (July): Economists expect a reading of 50.2, up slightly from the month before Construction spending (June): Economists expect 0.4% rise CORPORATE NEWSCANADAMaple Leaf Foods Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 25¢ Torstar Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 27¢ Talisman Energy Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 51¢ WestJet Airlines Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 27¢ Great West Lifeco Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 51¢ Intact Financial Q2 earnings: Analysts expect $1.49¢ First Quantum Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 29¢ UNITED STATESAvon Products Inc Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 21¢ a share Comcast Corp Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 48¢ Devon Energy Corp Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 87¢ Harley-Davidson Q2 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.05 MasterCard Inc Q2 earnings: Analysts expect US$5.58 Marathon Oil Corp Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 63¢ Prudential Financial Inc Q2 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.56 Time Warner Inc Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 59¢ read more


Stocks climb as Fed chair contender withdraws

October 8, 2019

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News that one of the top contenders to head the U.S. Federal Reserve has withdrawn his candidacy sent North American markets higher Monday, as investors bet that stimulus funding from the central bank will continue to flow a little longer.The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 91.60 points to 12,815. The Canadian dollar was stronger, up 0.32 of a cent to 96.97 cents US.Economist Larry Summers has long been perceived as an opponent to the Fed’s aggressive $85-billion a month bond-buying program, which has helped push down interest rates to spur lending and jump start economic growth. The program, dubbed quantitative easing, has also weakened the U.S. dollar and boosted stock markets.U.S. indexes jumped on the news. The Dow Jones industrials surged 158.67 points to 15,534.73, the Nasdaq was ahead 13.75 points to 3,735.93 and the S&P 500 added 14.41 points to 1,702.40.“Certainly, markets are interpreting Summers’ withdrawing from the race as Fed chairman implies that quantitative easing could persist for longer, that interest rates could be pushed further into the future,” said Paul Ferley, the assistant chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada.Summers’ withdrawal to succeed current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke means Fed vice-chair Janet Yellen, believed to be a supporter of the stimulus program, may be next in line for the top job.The development comes as the Fed is set to make a key announcement Wednesday on what it plans to do about its asset purchases. It’s widely expected that the central bank will begin tapering anywhere between US$10 billion to US$15 billion a month on signs that the U.S. economic recovery is moving forward. What is still left up in the air is at what pace the money will be rolled back.Meanwhile, oil prices declined as the October crude contract dipped $1.08 to US$107.13 a barrel.Gold prices got some lift after closing last week at their lowest price in more than a month. Bullion saw an uptick of $10.10 to US$1,318.70 an ounce. December copper was up two cents at US$3.23 a pound.By mid-day, all sectors were seeing sizable gains on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as info tech led the charge with an uptick of 2.28 per cent. Shares in Wi-Lan Inc. (TSX:WIN) were up nearly nine per cent, or 29 cents to $3.68 after the company and Alcatel Lucent USA Inc. agreed to settle their dispute over several patents and withdraw litigation before U.S. district courts in Florida and Texas.The gold sector was the only decliner on the TSX, down by 0.16 per cent.On the corporate front, Aimia Inc. announced it has reached an agreement with TD Bank Group and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce for its popular Aeroplan loyalty credit card programs. Each bank will have rights to half the portfolio of accounts that offer their customers loyalty points, which can be exchanged for airline tickets and other goods through Aimia’s flagship Aeroplan program.Shares in Aimia (TSX:AIM) rose more than five per cent, or 92 cents, to $17.55. TD (TSX:TD) shares were up 1.17 per cent, or $1.05, to $90.97, while shares in CIBC (TSX:CM) jumped 0.85 per cent, or 69 cents, to $81.82.TD said it expects to acquire approximately 550,000 cardholder accounts from CIBC, representing approximately $3 billion in card balances and $20 billion in annual retail spending. CIBC, which has been the primary Aeroplan credit card issuer for more than 20 years, will retain the half of the portfolio. That will include Aerogold customers with broader relationships with the bank.Meanwhile, Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) flew the first test flight of its CSeries commercial aircraft Monday morning.The flight sets off a year of testing, leading to delivery of the first aircraft, which seats 110- to 125-seat CS100 and is slated to enter into service in about a year. The heavily anticipated first flight had been delayed three times over nearly nine months. Its shares climbed 0.6 per cent, or three cents, to $5.02.In economic news, Statistics Canada says foreign investors resumed purchases of Canadian securities in July, adding $6.1 billion to their holdings. It says this followed a $15.4 billion divestment in June. Meanwhile, Canadian investment in foreign securities slowed to $900 million and focused on bonds.South of the border, U.S factories boosted output 0.7 per cent in August, the best since December, and mainly led by auto production. read more