The Toronto stock market moved higher Tuesday amid a heavy slate of economic data coming out this week and hopes for strong fourth-quarter earnings.
The S&P/TSX composite index gained 77.07 points to 13,572.61, following three days of losses.
The Canadian dollar was down 0.57 of a cent at 93.31 cents (U.S.) as the greenback gained ground. Traders took in a report showing a widening trade deficit in Canada in November. Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit fell in November to its lowest level in four years as gains in energy production and stronger sales of American-made airplanes, autos and machinery lifted exports to an all-time high.
U.S. markets have had a negative start so far to 2014 trading but indexes were firmly in positive territory Tuesday morning.
The Dow Jones industrials jumped 101.55 points to 16,526.65, the Nasdaq ran ahead 22.65 points to 4,136.33 and the S&P 500 index gained 8.75 points to 1,835.52.
North American markets finished lower Monday in the wake of data showing the U.S. service sector still expanding during last month but at a slower pace.
The most closely watched economic report of the week will come on Friday. Economists forecast that about 195,000 jobs were created during December in the United States.
The reading will help the Federal Reserve determine how quickly it withdraws from a key stimulus program, its $85-billion of monthly bond purchases. The central bank said last month it would taper those purchases by $10-billion starting this month.
Traders also looked to the release of the minutes from the Fed meeting last month for clues on further tapering along with its latest reading on the economy.
Canadian jobs figures will also be released Friday.
Thursday marks the start of what will be a flood of fourth-quarter corporate earnings over the next few weeks with resource giant Alcoa leading off.
Investors hope earnings will help justify the sharp 30 per cent runup in the S&P 500 last year. But there has been a steady drip of revised expectations recently.
Earnings from S&P 500 companies are expected to have risen 6.3 per cent in the fourth quarter. That’s slower than the 9.3 per cent growth analysts expected, on average, at the end of September, according to FactSet.
That would follow third quarter profit growth of $39.2-billion, compared with a gain of $66.8-billion in the second quarter.
The tech sector led advancers with BlackBerry registering a solid gain for a second day, up 29 cents to $8.80 following a 42 cent gain Monday after the smartphone maker said it has hired Ron Louks, who has held senior positions at HTC America Inc. and Sony Ericsson, to help develop the company’s long-term product road map.
The energy sector rose 0.7 per cent as the February crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose seven cents to $93.50 a barrel. Suncor Energy gained 37 cents to $36.95.
The financials group was up 0.4 per cent as Royal Bank improved by 62 cents to $71.32.
Gold stocks led decliners, down 1.1 per cent with February bullion down $10.50 to $1,227.50 an ounce. Kinross Gold faded six cents to $4.85 (Canadian).
March copper was a penny lower at $3.35 (U.S.) a pound and the base metals sector slipped 0.25 per cent as Capstone Mining slipped four cents to $2.88.
In corporate news, shares in Valeant jumped $12.01 or 10 per cent to $132 after the pharmaceutical company said Tuesday that it expects revenue of between $8.2-billion to $8.6-billion for fiscal 2014, an increase of 40 per cent, and cash earnings between $8.25 and $8.75 per share. It adds it will continue to look for a big acquisition or merger of equals.
Quarterly earnings at Samsung Electronics Co. fell for the first time in two years as sales of smartphones and tablets slowed in developed countries. The South Korean company estimated an operating profit of 8.3 trillion won ($7.8-billion), a six per cent decline over a year earlier. The result was lower than forecast by analysts and an 18 per cent drop from the third quarter. Sales rose 5 per cent to 59 trillion won ($55.4-billion).
European markets were higher as London’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.48 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX climbed 0.6 per cent while the Paris CAC 40 was ahead 0.4 per cent.
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