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Before the bell: BlackBerry rises, loonie at multiyear low

The Before the Bell report is constantly updated to reflect the latest news developments and market moves in the premarket. Check back later for updates.

Now that the Federal Reserve has set in motion the reduction of bond-purchases in the New Year, there is little for investors to chew on as 2013 winds down: Lacklustre moves in the stock market on Thursday are flowing into slight gains on Friday.

Futures for the S&P 500 pointed to gains of 0.2 per cent ahead of the market open. Stocks surged after the Fed announced it would start tapering its bond-purchases in January, with investors apparently focused on the upside: Tapering means the economy is improving. Since then, though, they have been in a holding pattern.

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In Europe, stocks were up 0.1 per cent, and in Japan the Nikkei 225 rose less than 0.1 per cent in overnight trading.

There is some economic news to ponder on Friday. Revised numbers for U.S. gross domestic product in the third quarter came in stronger than expected. In Canada, there was another benign reading on inflation, and retail sales were a bit lower than expected too. (More details below in our Economic Indicators section.)

Equity market reaction was fairly subdued to the data, but the Canadian dollar fell immediately on the news and hit a  low of 93.16 (U.S.) -- its weakest level against the greenback in more than three years.

In the meantime, BlackBerry reported a third quarter loss of $4.4-billion (U.S.) or 67 cents a share on an adjusted basis. Sales were definitely disappointing: BlackBerry reported revenue of $1.19-billion during the quarter, versus expectations for $1.59-billion. The shares initially plunged 8 per cent on the report in the premarket, but have reversed course as the company held its analyst conference call, and are now up 3 per cent.

Here's a closer look at what's going on this morning and what is to come.

MARKETS:

Equities:

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Futures: S&P 500 +0.21 per cent; Dow +0.12 per cent; Nasdaq +0.24 per cent; S&P Toronto 60 +0.52 per cent

Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.34 per cent

Shanghai composite index -2.01 per cent

Japan's Nikkei +0.07 per cent

London's FTSE 100 +0.08 per cent

Germany's DAX +0.40 per cent

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France's CAC 40 -0.14 per cent

Commodities:

WTI crude oil (Nymex Feb) +0.85 per cent at $98.63 (U.S.) a barrel

Gold (Comex Feb) +0.12 per cent at $1,195.20 (U.S.) an ounce

Copper (Comex Mar) +0.52 per cent at $3.31 (U.S.) a pound

Currencies:

Canadian dollar at 93.33 (U.S.), vs. 93.76 at Thursday's North American close.

U.S. dollar index up 0.08 at 80.71

Bonds:

U.S. 10-year Treasury yield 2.95 per cent, up 0.02

ECONOMIC INDICATORS:

The final reading on U.S. GDP for the third quarter was +4.1 per cent, well above an earlier reading of +3.6 per cent.

Canadian consumer prices were flat in November from October, versus expectations they would rise 0.1 per cent. Year-over-year, it rose 0.9 per cent.

Canadian retail sales fell 0.1 per cent in October from September. Market expectations were for a 0.2 per cent gain.

STOCKS TO WATCH:

BlackBerry shares are up 3 per cent in the premarket after reporting a massive $4.4-billion (U.S.) third-quarter loss, a big portion of which came from writedowns. It also struck a partnership with Foxconn to help develop consumer-focused smartphones for certain fast-growing markets.

Brookfield Property has boosted its offer for the rest of Brookfield Office by $1 per share.

Oracle has bought Responsys for about $1.5-billion (U.S.) in cash.

Walgreen reported fiscal first-quarter adjusted EPS of 72 cents (U.S.), matching the Street view.

ANALYST ACTIONS:

Credit Suisse initiated coverage on Brookfield Residential with an "outperform" rating and $27 (U.S.) price target.

Raymond James upgraded Methanex to "outperform" from "market perform" with an unchanged price target of $68 (U.S.).

Raymond James initiated coverage on Legacy Oil & Gas with an "outperform" rating and $8 (Canadian) price target.

Stonecap Securities slashed its price target on Aurcana to 50 cents (Canadian) from $1.50 and maintained an "underperform" rating.

JPMorgan upgraded 3M to "neutral" from "underweight" and raised its price target to $128 (U.S.) from $120.

THIS MORNING'S TOP INVESTING LINKS:

Why the Vanguard FTSE Canadian Capped REIT outperformed its REIT rivals by a large margin this year.

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For instant headlines on breaking economic and corporate news in the premarket, follow Darcy Keith on Twitter at @eyeonequities.

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