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Research In Motion chief Thorsten Heins is silhouetted during the BlackBerry World event in Orlando, in this file picture taken May 1, 2012. (DAVID MANNING/REUTERS)
Research In Motion chief Thorsten Heins is silhouetted during the BlackBerry World event in Orlando, in this file picture taken May 1, 2012. (DAVID MANNING/REUTERS)

At the open: Techs, miners push TSX higher Add to ...

The Toronto stock market registered a modest gain Tuesday, adding to last week’s solid advance and data that showed severe winter weather had an impact on January economic performance.

The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 27.37 points to 14,082.13. The Canadian dollar moved up 0.15 of a cent from Friday’s close to 91.2 cents (U.S.). Canadian banks and North American stock markets had been closed Monday for holidays.

U.S. indexes were positive as the Empire State Manufacturing Index for February, a gauge of manufacturing activity in the U.S. Northeast, declined to a much worse than expected reading of 4.48 in February. That was down from 12.5 in January, with severe winter weather conditions likely playing a big part in the slide.

The Dow Jones industrials were ahead 3.68 points to 16,158.07, the Nasdaq was up 17.87 points to 4,261.89 while the S&P 500 index gained 3.26 points to 1,841.89.

Traders will be digesting housing data during this morning as the National Association of Home Builders releases its housing market index. Its expected that the index will stay unchanged at the 56 mark for February. The index has drifted slightly lower in recent months because of a sharp rise in mortgage rates.

Meanwhile, there was also major dealmaking in the pharmaceutical sector. Actavis PLC announced that it is buying fellow drugmaker Forest Laboratories Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal worth about $25-billion (U.S.).

There was positive news from Japan where the central bank plans to top up its monetary stimulus by doubling the size of its fund to support bank lending and economic growth. The funds, which were due to expire shortly, were extended for another year after fourth quarter economic growth fell short of forecasts despite massive fiscal and monetary stimulus intended to engineer a recovery.

Strong earnings news and positive economic data pushed the TSX up 1.95 per cent this past week while the Dow industrials surged 2.28 per cent.

On Tuesday, Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust reported an adjusted profit of $36.8-million, which came in above a forecast of $34.6-million when Choice prepared its initial public offering last summer. Its funds from operations, another key financial measure for real estate companies, was $82.8-million compared with the forecast of $78.9-million. Its units were unchanged at $10.45 (Canadian).

In the U.S., the Coca-Cola Co. said it earned 46 cents per share ex-items, in line with expectations. Revenue fell to $11.04-billion, short of the $11.31-billion expected and its shares fell 3.57 per cent to $37.54.

Elsewhere on the corporate front, Resolute Forest Products Inc., the company being targeted by Unifor in pattern bargaining with forestry companies in Eastern Canada, has reached a five-year master collective agreement covering some 1,500 unionized workers in the United States. Its shares edged up 25 cents to $22.07.

The information technology sector led TSX gainers, up one per cent with BlackBerry up 32 cents to $10.19.

The base metals sector advanced 0.51 per cent while March copper was up two cents to $3.28 (U.S.) a pound.

The March crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained $1.19 to $101.49 a barrel. The energy sector rose 0.25 per cent.

The gold sector led decliners, down 0.6 per cent as April bullion climbed $1.90 to $1,320.50 an ounce.

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