April 14, 2010 - 10:20 AM EDT
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Markets up slightly
TSX climbs metals, gold fortunes

Bay Street bulls took charge Wednesday morning -- although holding a loose rein -- amid recovering commodities prices and upbeat earnings reports from chip maker Intel and JP Morgan Chase. The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced 14.12 points in the first few minutes of trading to 12,115.64. Also, just-released retail sales numbers and inflation data from across the border will help lift sentiment. Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar was retesting its parity with the U.S. dollar in morning deals. In corporate news from Canada, blackberry maker Research In Motion will pay $200 million in cash to acquire QNX Software, Harman International disclosed the terms in a regulatory filing. Gold miner Nova Gold Resources posted a narrower first-quarter net loss of $0.10 per share, compared to $0.20 per share in the same quarter last year. Gold explorer Osisko Mining said it is commencing a friendly offer to acquire precious metals explorer Brett Resources. Brett shareholders will receive 0.34 of an Osisko common share and $0.0001 in cash for each common share of Brett. Gold and diamond explorer Etruscan Resources turned to profit in the first quarter, reporting net income of $0.01 per share, compared to a loss of $0.23 per share in the year-ago quarter. Media and entertainment company Corus Entertainment reported 50% decline in its second-quarter net income at $0.18 per share compared to $0.36 per share in the prior year period. Analysts were expecting the company to report $0.32 a share. While revenues were up 6% this quarter -- beating estimates -- net income declined due to one-time items. Media company Score Media reported a breakeven in the second quarter, compared to a loss of $0.01 per share prior year. Luxury housing services provider Amica Mature Lifestyles slipped in to the red, reporting third quarter net loss of $0.22 per share, compared to net income of $0.01 per share for the year-ago quarter. However, the company declared a quarterly dividend of $0.06 per share. Ailing international media company Canwest Global Communications reported a narrower net loss of $0.26 per share in the second quarter, down from $8.08 per share last year. Biotechnology company Stem Cell Therapeutics posted fiscal 2009 net loss of $0.03 per share, narrower than $0.05 per share in the prior-year period. Apparels maker Naturally Advanced Technologies reported fiscal 2009 net loss of $0.12 per share compared to a loss of $0.12 per share for 2008. Oil and gas company Strategic Oil & Gas reported fiscal 2009 net loss of $0.10 per share, wider than $0.01 per share in the year-ago period. Energy investment company Brownstone Ventures said it raised $11 million through a non-brokered private placement financing, issuing an aggregate of 20 million units at $0.55 per unit. The Canadian dollar surpassed its American cousin, gaining 0.27 cents to $1.0012 U.S. ON BAYSTREET At the outset, all but three of the 14 TSX subgroups were higher. Toronto was again led by metals and mining, up 0.8%, while gold and industrial stocks gained 0.7% each. The three laggards were utilities, 0.2% less useful, consumer staples, creeping back 0.1%, and health-care, only 0.03% to the bad. The TSX Venture Exchange regained 2.46 points to 1,667.41, but the Nasdaq Canada index moved 0.46 points lower to 797.06. ON WALLSTREET In New York, stocks rallied, with the Dow industrials rising above 11,000 for the fourth session in a row Wednesday, after JPMorgan Chase and Intel posted strong quarterly results and a report on retail sales came in better-than-forecast. The Dow Jones industrial average grew 46.33 points at first to 11,065.75. The S&P 500 index added 5.95 points to 1,203.25, while the Nasdaq composite gained 21.60 points to 2,487.59. The blue-chip Dow and Nasdaq touched fresh 18-month highs Tuesday, but gains were slight as investors mulled the recent stock advance that has pushed the Dow above 11,000 for several sessions. On the corporate earnings beat, JPMorgan Chase reported a $3.3-billion U.S. profit for the first quarter, though the bank continued to suffer losses in its consumer loan portfolio. The New York City-based bank said it earned 74 cents a share during the quarter, up 55% from a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of 64 cents U.S. a share. Shares of JPMorgan rose more than 3% in early trade. JPMorgan kicks off the reporting period for big banks, most of which are expected to post a profitable quarter. After U.S. markets closed Tuesday, chipmaker Intel reported results that topped Wall Street's estimates. Shares were up almost 4% after opening bell. Economically speaking, the U.S. government's monthly retail sales report and a report on consumer inflation were released before the market opened. Retail sales jumped 1.6% in March, beating estimates from economists surveyed by Briefing.com. Sales excluding autos rose 0.6%, also topping predictions. The Consumer Price Index a measure of consumer inflation, rose 0.1% in March, in line with predictions. Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, was unchanged. A reading on business inventories is due at 10 a.m. ET. Inventories are forecast to have risen 0.4% in February compared with a flat reading in January. In the afternoon, the Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book report of economic conditions. Also, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke will testify before a joint session of Congress on the economic outlook beginning at 10 a.m. ET. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note subsided a bit in price, driving the yield up to 3.82% from Tuesday's 3.81%. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions. The price of a barrel of oil regained 25 cents to $84.30 U.S. Gold prices picked up a dollar to $1,154 U.S. an ounce.

Source: ACCESSWIRE (April 14, 2010 - 10:20 AM EDT)

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