The Toronto stock market was higher Tuesday morning amid a mixed slate of earnings reports and a strong reading on U.S. retail sales.
The S&P/TSX composite index gained 52.45 points to 13,733.93, paced by gains in the mining sector.
The Canadian dollar gave back Monday’s advance of almost 1/2 a cent, falling 0.65 of a cent to 91.55 cents (U.S.).
U.S. indexes also made inroads as the Dow Jones industrials climbed 46.21 points to 16,304.15 as the U.S. Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose 0.2 per cent last month, higher than the 0.1 per cent increase that economists expected. Excluding autos, U.S. retail sales rose a solid 0.7 per cent, much higher than the 0.4 per cent rise that was forecast.
The Nasdaq ran up 28.45 points to 4,141.75 and the S&P 500 index added 7.74 points to 1,826.94.
Markets sold off Monday, with the Dow plunging 179 points, on concerns about what the Federal Reserve may do about further cutting back on its key stimulus program and worries about whether the American equity markets are looking too expensive.
The S&P 500 rocketed about 30 per cent last year, helped in large measure by Fed stimulus. Investors now want to see if strong earnings and revenue can justify that gain and push stock prices higher.
On Tuesday, JPMorgan Chase shares were up 0.88 per cent to $58.21 (U.S.) as the biggest U.S. bank by assets said quarterly net income came in at $5.3-billion, compared with a profit of $5.7-billion in the same period a year earlier. Ex-items earnings per share were $1.40 versus the $1.35 that analysts had forecast.
The bank posted a loss in the third quarter, its first such quarterly negative showing in 10 years. Revenue fell one per cent to $24.1-billion, just above analysts’ expectations of $23.9-billion.
Wells Fargo turned in fourth quarter earnings of $1 per share, two cents better than analysts had forecast. Revenue came in at $20.7, better than the $20.69 that had been expected but its shares, which have run up sharply over the last quarter, were off 19 cents to $45.36.
Corus Entertainment Inc. posted adjusted net income of $55.2-million (Canadian), or 65 cents a share, three cents higher than estimates. Revenue was $226-million, up from $209-million a year earlier and just short of estimates. Corus also said it is raising its dividend seven per cent and its shares jumped 75 cents to $25.34.
Shaw Communications Inc. reports it had $245-million of net income, or 51 cents per share, in the quarter ended Nov. 30. That’s up from $235-million or 50 cents per share a year earlier and two cents above analyst estimates. Shaw’s revenue rose 3.3 per cent to $1.362-billion, beating estimates of $1.358-billionbut its shares fell 78 cents to $24.53 as RBC Capital Markets noted that employee bonuses and programming costs weighed on margins.
On Monday night, telecommunications and media company Cogeco Inc. reported quarterly profit of $23.1-million, or $1.37 per diluted share, up from $18.5-million, or $1.10 per share in the same year earlier period. Revenue soared 41 per cent to $517-million from $366.6-million.
Its main subsidiary, Cogeco Cable Inc. saw its quarterly revenue soar 44.9 per cent to $475-million, missing expectations of $478,.35-million. Net profit increased to $49.7-million or $1.01 per diluted share, up from $42.1-million or 86 cents per diluted share a year ago but missing forecasts by three cents. Cogeco Inc. gained 38 cents to $48.88 while Cogeco Cable was ahead 65 cents to $50.97.
March copper was down a cent at $3.34 (U.S.) a pound but the TS base metals sector charged ahead 1.8 per cent as Bank of America/Merrill Lynch upgraded Thompson Creek Metals from underperform to buy. Its stock jumped 16.9 per cent to $2.77. Elsewhere in the sector, Sherritt International improved by seven cents to $3.68.
The telecom sector advanced 0.5 per cent as bidding for a coveted piece of Canada’s wireless market was to start today. The 700 megahertz waves are particularly valuable because they allow cellphone signals to travel longer distances and penetrate buildings and tunnels where calls are often dropped. Ten players are in the game, including Canada’s big three telecom companies. Bell, Rogers and Telus. Telus was the strongest performer in the group, ahead 53 cents to $37.34.
The gold sector edged up 0.7 per cent while February bullion drifted 40 cents higher to $1,251.50 (U.S.) an ounce. Iamgold climbed 20 cents to $4.36 while Kinross Gold was ahead seven cents to $5.04.
The energy sector moved ahead 0.2 per cent while the February crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 69 cents to $92.49 (U.S.) a barrel.
European bourses were weak as London’s FTSE 100 index slipped 0.07 per cent and Frankfurt’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 dipped 0.2 per cent.