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At the open: RIM up sharply again on TSX Add to ...

Research In Motion Ltd. soared at the open on the TSX, rising about 7 per cent even as the higher-volume U.S. market was closed for a holiday.

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.

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Today, there does not appear to be any major fresh news. But CEO Thorsten Heins, in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, reiterated the company's open mindedness about new strategic alliances once BlackBerry 10 devices have been launched. According to Reuters, Mr. Heins said the strategic review could lead to the sale of RIM's hardware production or the sale of licenses to its software, among other options.

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.

Over all, trading at the TSX is a subdued affair, with the S&P/TSX composite index up 16 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 12,742, in early trading. Shares in Rona Inc. were in focus, rising 2.5 per cent after the company announced a wide-ranging shake-up of its board, with the chairman of Richelieu Hardware, Robert Chevrier, being installed as the new chairman.

Asian markets overnight were lower, led by Japan, while European stocks this morning are seeing modest gains.

The Nikkei fell 1.5 per cent, giving back roughly half of Friday's 2.9 per cent rally that brought the Japanese index to its highest point since April 30, 2010. The U.S. dollar fell against the yen overnight - a negative for Japan's export sector - as a two-day policy meeting at the country's central bank began.

In Europe, stocks were still taking their cue from Wall Street's gains on Friday, with traders encouraged that there may not be any imminent budgetary crisis in Washington over the debt ceiling. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sparked the rise in U.S. stocks Friday after saying the House of Representatives will vote to authorize a three-month increase in the ceiling to give Congress time to pass a budget.

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