Canadian stocks were higher in midday trading on Monday, with U.S. markets closed for the Martin Luther King holiday.
Shortly after noon, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 41 points or 0.3 per cent, to 12,767.
Research In Motion Ltd. led the gains, rising 8.7 per cent after the company’s chief executive reiterated in a German publication that the BlackBerry maker was considering strategic options that included the sale of its hardware production and the licensing of its software.
Today's move was reminiscent of trading activity on U.S. Thanksgiving Day, when RIM jumped 18 per cent on the TSX while the Nasdaq was closed. Back then, the rally was linked to National Bank Financial raising its sales estimates for the BlackBerry 10, due to be launched later this month.
The stock has risen more than 170 per cent since last September and on Friday jumped 7 per cent after Peter Misek, an influential analyst with Jefferies & Co., upgraded the stock to a "buy" and raised his price target to $19.50 (U.S.) from $13. He said RIM has a better near-term shot with its new BlackBerry 10 phones than most people realize.
Elsewhere, Rona Inc. rose 2.6 per cent after the home retailer replaced its chairman and shook up other positions on its board of directors, falling into line with concerns from its two major shareholders. Last year, Rona rejected a takeover offer from U.S.-based Lowe’s Cos. Inc. for $1.8-billion, following poor performance at the Canadian company.
Within the TSX, technology stocks rose 2.1 per cent, industrials rose 0.7 per cent, financials rose 0.6 per cent and materials rose 0.2 per cent. Energy stocks were unchanged.
In Europe, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4 per cent and Germany’s DAX index rose 0.6 per cent.