The Toronto stock market gained some traction near midday Tuesday as key commodities prices remained mixed, and encouraging data emerged on the U.S. economy.
The S&P/TSX composite index was up 37.94 points to 12,632.21.
The Canadian dollar was down 0.39 of a cent to 96.67 cents US.
Information technology stocks were mostly higher, with the sector rising about 1 per cent, as BlackBerry (TSX:BB) shares gained 11 per cent a day after it announced it was exploring its “strategic options,” which could include a sale.
In commodities, the September crude contract gained eight cents to $106.19 (U.S.) a barrel.
December gold bullion dropped $8.40 to $1,325.80 an ounce, while September copper increased less than a cent to $3.30 a pound.
The U.S. Commerce Department says retail sales edged up in July despite a drop in auto sales. The report said that retail sales increased 0.2 per cent in July from June. Sales had risen 0.6 per cent in June from May.
The change in both months was driven by autos, which surged 2.9 per cent in June but fell one per cent in July.
On Wall Street, the Dow was down 45.24 points to 15,374.44, the Nasdaq fell 10.25 points to 3,659.70 and the S&P 500 was down 3.33 points to 1,686.14.
In earnings, Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM) reported a second-quarter net loss of $415.2-million or $2.43 per share late Monday, which compared to a profit of $35-million or 19 cents per share a year ago.
Excluding several items, Aimia’s revenue for the quarter was $540.3-million, up from $7.1-million a year ago. The company’s shares fell nine cents to $15.84.
Iamgold (TSX:IMG) fell to a second-quarter loss of $28.4-million (US) from a profit a year earlier as the company took impairment charges related to its investments. The Toronto-based gold miner, which reports in U.S. dollars, reported a loss of eight cents per share, compared to a profit of $52.9-million or 14 cents per share during the same quarter last year. Revenue was down 17 per cent to $301.1-million. Shares rose 25 cents to $5.75.
Onex Corp. (TSX:OCX) reported a second-quarter net loss of $718-million (US) or $5.38 per share compared to a net loss of $172-million or $1.75 per share during the prior year. Shares gained 78 cents to $52.75.
Torstar Corp. (TSX:TS.B) flagship newspaper the Toronto Star has begun charging a fee for non-subscribers who access its web site more than 10 times a month. The plan will cost $9.99 a month plus HST after that, but will be free for most home subscribers. The company’s shares were ahead three cents to $5.72.
Overseas, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 per cent to 6,590.21. Germany’s DAX advanced 0.6 per cent to 8,412.58. France’s CAC-40 added 0.3 per cent to 4,085.68.
Japan’s Nikkei stock index posted solid gains on hopes for more monetary stimulus and helped pull markets up elsewhere. The Tokyo benchmark rose 2.6 per cent to close at 13,867, rebounding from a moderate drop Monday sparked by weaker-than-anticipated economic growth.