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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 9, 2014. (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 9, 2014. (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)

At midday: Gold, financial stocks lift TSX higher Add to ...

Gold stocks and financials helped give the Toronto stock market a lift Friday amid a rebound for U.S. durable goods orders.

The S&P/TSX composite index was ahead 87.32 points to 15,481.77.

The Canadian dollar shed 0.29 of a cent to 92.73 cents (U.S.).

Orders for durable goods, such as machinery and computers, increased by 0.7 per cent during June. Orders had dropped one per cent in May.

U.S. indexes were sharply lower as traders also digested earnings disappointments from online retailer Amazon and Visa.

The Dow Jones industrials dropped 148.64 points 16,935.16, the Nasdaq fell 31.99 points to 4,440.11 and the S&P 500 index was down 10.2 points to 1,977.78.

Amazon shares plunged 11.5 per cent to $317.48 (U.S.) after posting a quarterly loss of $126-million, or 27 cents per share, compared with $7-million, or two cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 13 cents per share.

The company said revenue rose 23 per cent to $19.34-billion from $15.7-billion in the same quarter a year earlier. Analysts expected $19.33-billion, according to Zacks.

Shares in Visa dropped 4.95 per cent to $211.73 as the global payments technology company trimmed its forecast for annual revenue growth.

The Toronto stock market headed for a positive week amid a string of record-high closes after investors took in a series of positive earnings reports from Canadian National Railway, Teck Resources and Loblaw Co. Ltd.

And traders are optimistic as the second-quarter earnings season gains momentum next week.

“It`s pretty solid by and large, hard to complain,” said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse.

“If in Q1 we saw TSX earnings up around six per cent, Q2 is looking like about 15 per cent and that is probably, I would say, going to be the number for the year,” Gorman said.

The gold sector was ahead 1.65 per cent as August gold gained $4.40 to $1,295.20 an ounce.

The financials sector was up 0.6 per cent.

The industrials sector was ahead 0.5 per cent after Candu Energy Inc., an SNC-Lavalin company, has signed a co-operation agreement with China Nuclear Power Engineering Company Ltd. for the construction of two nuclear reactors at the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant in Romania. SNC rose $1.48 to $57.99 (Canadian).

The metals and mining sector gave back 0.6 per cent, giving back all of the gain racked up Thursday in the wake of a strong report on Chinese manufacturing. However, that data competed with a warning from the International Monetary Fund that global growth will be about three-tenths of a point lower at 3.4 per cent this year than it thought in April. September copper was down two cents at $3.25 (U.S.) a pound after surging six cents Thursday.

The energy sector was down 0.4 per cent, while September crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 14 cents to $101.93 a barrel.

Geopolitical concerns continued to cast a shadow.

On Friday, European Union ambassadors reached a preliminary deal on stepped-up sanctions against Russia, targeting its access to European capital markets and trade in the defence sector, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies. The ambassadors also ordered EU-wide asset freezes and travel bans for an undisclosed number of Russians and pro-Russian Ukrainians who are accused of undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty.

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