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Ed Clark , CEO of TD Bank delivers his address during the company annual general meeting April 4, 2013 in Ottawa. (Dave Chan For The Globe and Mail)
Ed Clark , CEO of TD Bank delivers his address during the company annual general meeting April 4, 2013 in Ottawa. (Dave Chan For The Globe and Mail)

At midday: Bank earnings boost TSX Add to ...

Solid bank earnings helped give the Toronto stock market a solid gain Thursday.

Traders also took in remarks from U.S. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, who said it’s too early to tell how badly adverse winter weather is affecting the economy.

The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 25.10 points to 14,213.68 as CIBC posted quarterly net income of $1.18-billion, up nearly 50 per cent from a year ago and partly due to its sale of half its Aeroplan credit card business to TD Bank.

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Ex-items, CIBC’s earnings were up 6.3 per cent to $951-million or $2.31 a share, 15 cents better than estimates. TD’s adjusted net income was $2.02-billion, or $1.06 per common share, two cents ahead of estimates.

TD hiked its dividend by nine per cent to 47 cents per share while CIBC’s will be going up about two per cent to 98 cents per share. TD shares rose 15 cents to $49.57 while CIBC gained $1.72 to $92.31.

“No qualms about them”, said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at 3MACS.

“They have tendency (to beat expectations) and that’s exactly what they did.”

The Canadian dollar was off 0.18 of a cent to 89.68 cents (U.S.).

New York indexes advanced while traders also digested data showing that orders for durable goods declined a seasonally adjusted one per cent in January compared with December. Much of last month’s decline was driven by a 20.2 per cent drop in demand for commercial aircraft, a volatile month-to-month category.

The Dow Jones industrials gained 34.39 points to 16,232.80, the Nasdaq was up 16.05 points to 4,38.11 while the S&P 500 index edged up 4.11 points to 1,842.27.

Yellen’s testimony before the Senate’s Banking Committee was supposed to take place earlier this month but was postponed because of a fierce winter storm in Washington.

During a question and answer session, Yellen noted that “a number of data releases have pointed to softer spending than many analysts had expected.”

“Part of that softness may reflect adverse weather conditions, but at this point it is difficult to discern how much,” Yellen said.

In other earnings news, Maple Leaf Foods dropped 2.15 per cent to $15.55 as it reported an adjusted quarterly operating loss of $21.7-million or 25 cents a share, a big miss from the six cents a share of adjusted profit that analysts had estimated.

The gold sector led TSX advancers, up almost two per cent as April bullion gained $5.30 to $1,333.30 (U.S.) an ounce.

The base metals sector was up almost one per cent as May copper lost two cents to $3.20 a pound.

A major decliner was Taseko Mines after the federal government again rejected its proposed $1.5-billion, open-pit, gold-copper mine in British Columbia’s Interior over environmental concerns. The environment department rejected the New Prosperity Mine for a second time because it will cause significant adverse environmental effects that can’t be mitigated and its shares fell 14 cents or 5.9 per cent to $2.23.

The energy sector was little changed as the April crude contract in New York dipped six cents to $102.53 a barrel.

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