Some solid Canadian employment numbers should provide some positive fuel for the Toronto Stock Exchange at the opening bell.
Statistics Canada reported that the country added 30,600 jobs in September, much better than the modest 10,000 or so that economists had anticipated. More importantly, it's the second straight month of job growth, adding to August's 27,000. The case is building that the Canadian employment market has turned the corner, a distinctly positive signal for consumer demand going forward.
However, weaker prices for gold and energy this morning could temper enthusiasm in the Canadian market, which is heavily weighted in those commodities. Crude oil is off 69 cents (U.S.) at $71.00 a barrel in New York, while gold is off $7.00 at $1,049.30 an ounce.
U.S. stock futures are pointing modestly lower, despite a positive data suprise on the trade front. The U.S. trade deficit shrunk to $30.7-billion in August, fuelled by a rise in exports. However, there was some concern about a slight dip in imports, which may imply stubborn weakness in domestic demand.
Dow Jones industrial average futures are pointing to a 28-point dip at the opening, while S&P 500 futures point to a 2.20-point decline. Nasdaq futures are down 8.50 points.
Overseas, most European bourses are down slightly, with London's FTSE 100 off 0.3 per cent while Germany's DAX is down 0.5 per cent. In Tokyo overnight, the Nikkei surged 1.9 per cent, closing above the key psychological level of 10,000 points, as an easing of the yen against the U.S. dollar buoyed hopes that a more stable exchange rate would lend support to the country's key export businesses.