The Toronto stock market was positive Wednesday as traders digested mixed earnings news from the retail sector and looked ahead to data out during the afternoon which could shed further light on what the U.S. Federal Reserve’s intentions are about raising interest rates.
The S&P/TSX composite index gained 37.84 points to 14,563.03. The Canadian dollar was down 0.16 of a cent at 91.59 cents (U.S.).
New York markets also advanced with the Dow Jones industrials ahead 99.67 points to 16,473.98, the Nasdaq climbed 19.38 points to 4,116.27 and the S&P 500 index rose 9.05 points to 1,881.88.
Sears Canada posted a higher first-quarter net loss of $75.2-million, or 74 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $31.2-million, or 31 cents per share, a year ago. Revenues came in at $771.7-million compared to $867.1-million year-over-year, impacted by cold weather and store closures and its shares drifted four cents lower to $15.27. Last week, Sears Holdings Corp. said it was looking to sell its 51 per cent stake in the company.
Home improvement retailer Lowe’s fiscal first-quarter net income climbed 16 per cent to $624-million (U.S.), or 61 cents per share. Ex-items, earnings were 58 cents per share, two cents short of expectations. Revenue rose two per cent to $13.4-billion, but still fell short of Wall Street’s prediction of $13.89-billion. Lowe’s also raised its full-year earnings outlook and its shares fell 91 cents to $44.61.
Tiffany & Co. reported a 50 per cent spike in first-quarter earnings to $125.6-million, or 97 cents per share. That’s way better than the 78 cents per share Wall Street was looking for and up from $83.6-million, or 65 cents per share, last year. Revenue at the jeweller known for its iconic turquoise gift boxes climbed 13 per cent to $1.01-billion, also topping estimates. Tiffany also raised its earnings guidance for the year and its shares jumped nine per cent to $96.10.
And Target reported that adjusted earnings came in at 70 cents a share, a penny lower than expectations. Revenue of $17.01-billion was in line with expectations and Target also lowered its outlook and its shares were ahead 39 cents to $57. The results were released a day after the company replaced the president of its struggling Canadian operations.
Meanwhile, investors will scrutinize the minutes of the Fed’s April 12 meeting at 2 p.m. EDT. Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen noted earlier this month that the U.S. job market remains “far from satisfactory“’ and inflation below the Fed’s target rate. Yellen said that she expects low borrowing rates will continue to be needed for a “considerable time.”
In other corporate developments, Rio Alto Mining Ltd. and Sulliden Gold Corp. Ltd. plan to merge to create a new mid-tier gold producer with operations focused in Peru. The mining companies say the value of the transaction is about $300-million (Canadian) and combining the two companies will result in near-term production potential of about 300,000 ounces of gold per year. Rio Alto shares fell 27 cents or 12.68 per cent to $1.86.
On the commodity markets, the energy sector was ahead 0.6 per cent while July crude in New York gained 85 cents to $103.18 (U.S.) a barrel.
The base metals sector was up 0.2 per cent as July copper slid four cents to $3.11 a pound.
The gold sector led decliners, down 0.2 per cent while June gold faded $4.80 to $1,289.80 an ounce.