North American stocks rose modestly at the start of trading on Wednesday, helped by an upward revision to U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter and a batch of strong earnings.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 21 points or 0.2 per cent, to 13,026. The broader S&P 500 rose 2 points or 0.2 per cent, to 1375. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 28 points or 0.2 per cent, to 12,768.
The gains follow slight upward moves in Europe, where the European Central Bank lent about 530-billion euros to regional banks in a second effort to head off a financial crisis there. As well, U.S. gross domestic product rose at an annualized rate of 3 per cent in the fourth quarter, up from an earlier estimate of 2.8 per cent. The revisions topped estimates and were largely due to better-than-expected consumer spending.
Costco Wholesale Corp. rose 1.7 per cent after the retailer reported a 13 per cent gain in its quarterly earnings. Torstar Corp. rose 5.1 per cent after its adjusted earnings of 70 cents a share beat analysts' expectations.
Apple Inc. continued its winning streak, rising 1.9 per cent a day after the company strongly hinted that it will unveil the third version of its popular iPad tablet computer at an even in March.
However, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. fell 1 per cent a day after the engineering firm said it was lowering expectations for its quarterly earnings and investigating $35-million in payments.