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A roundup of some of the North American equities making moves in both directions today

On the rise

Marijuana producers jumped on Thursday after a U.S. congressional committee passed legislation to decriminalize cannabis, taking it a step closer to being approved by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

Charles Schwab Corp. (SCHW-N), the largest U.S. discount brokerage, was up 7.3 per cent on news it is in talks to buy smaller rival TD Ameritrade (AMTD-Q) and a deal could be announced as early as Thursday, CNBC reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

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Shares of TD Ameritrade, which has a market capitalization of $22.41-billion, rose 16.8 per cent.

Both companies did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

A deal between Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade could be seen as a strategic response to recent disruption in the industry.

Last month, Charles Schwab said it was eliminating commissions for online trading of stocks, ETFs and options listed on U.S. or Canadian exchanges, a move that was quickly followed by other players, including Fidelity Investments, E*Trade Financial and TD Ameritrade.

Meanwhile, shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD-T) were up 0.9 per cent.

See also: TD Ameritrade adjusts to a zero-commission world with cost-cutting, growth measures

Amgen Inc. (AMGN-Q) jumped 1.1 per cent on Thursday after it raised its full-year profit and revenue forecasts after completing its US$13.4-billion acquisition of Celgene Corp’s psoriasis therapy Otezla.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, which completed its buyout of Celgene on Wednesday, had agreed to divest the drug for the merger to go through.

Amgen now expects 2019 adjusted earnings per share between US$14.50 and US$14.70, up from its prior range of US$14.20 to US$14.45.

Full-year revenue is now expected between US$23.1-billion and US$23.3-billion, compared with the previous range of US$22.8-billion to US$23.0-billion.

See also: Amgen to buy Celgene psoriasis drug Otezla for $13.4-billion

Tiffany & Co. (TIF-N) gained 2.6 per cent as Reuters reported LVMH persuaded the jewelry chain to allow it to access its books after the French luxury group raised its bid to about US$16-billion.

The development represents a key milestone in LVMH’s bid for the iconic U.S. maker of engagement rings. Tiffany earlier this month rebuffed LVMH’s initial $120-per-share all-cash offer, arguing it significantly undervalues it.

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Tiffany agreed to provide LVMH with access to its books, after the latter sweetened its bid to close to $130 per share, the sources said. Tiffany plans to continue to negotiate for a better offer, and there is no certainty a deal will be reached, the sources added.

Real Matters Inc. (REAL-T) jumped 6.1 per cent on the release of better-than-anticipated fourth-quarter results before the bell.

The Toronto-based tech firm, which provides a network management services platform for the mortgage and insurance industries, reported revenue and adjusted EBITDA for the quarter of $107.3-million and $14.1-million, exceeding the consensus expectations on the Street of $86-million and $9.4-million.

Green Thumb Industries Inc. (GTII-CN) was up 3 per cent with the release of third-quarter results after market Wednesday that exceeded expectations on the Street.

Haywood Securities analyst Neal Gilmer said: “We believe that GTI’s Q3/19 results underscore its operational execution and ability to drive growth across its markets. As the company continues to scale, we expect further operating leverage to be realized in its financial results.”

Shares of Tesla Inc. (TSLA-Q) rose 0.8 per cent ahead of the expected unveiling of its electric pickup truck.

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Analysts expect the Tesla pickup, which chief executive Elon Musk has said would combine the performance of a Porsche 911 sports car with the functionality of Ford Motor Co’s industry-leading F-150 full-size truck, to debut in late 2021 or early 2022 with a starting price of under $50,000.

On the decline

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP-T) slipped 0.3 per cent after it said it will acquire Central Quebec and Maine Railway. CP Rail and Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors LLC, a New York investment firm.

In a statement released after Wednesday’s close, CP said that they have entered into a definitive agreement for the nearly 800 kilometres of track that stretches to ports in Maine and Saint John, N.B.

The price of the deal wasn’t disclosed. The deal is expected to close by year’s end.

Macy’s Inc. (M-N) was lower by 2.2 per cent after it reported a bigger-than-expected fall in quarterly same-store sales and cut its full-year profit forecast before the bell on Thursday, blaming weak international tourism and sluggish mall traffic.

Comparable sales at Macy’s owned and licensed stores fell 3.5 per cent in the third quarter ended Nov. 2, bigger than the 1-per-cent decrease analysts had expected, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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The company now expects 2019 adjusted profit of between US$2.57 per share and US$2.77 per share, compared with its previous forecast of between US$2.85 and US$3.05.

Waterloo Brewing Ltd. (WBR-T) slid 1.9 per cent after it said it has lost $2.1 million in what it calls a social engineering cyberattack.

The Ontario brewery says the incident occurred in early November and involved the impersonation of a creditor employee and fraudulent wire transfer requests.

Waterloo Brewing says it initiated an analysis of all other transaction activity across all of its bank accounts, as well as a review of its internal systems and controls that included its computer networks, after becoming aware of the incident this week.

With files from staff and wires

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