CORRECTION: Canadian Stocks Rally, Led By Shares of Healthcare, Telecom, Energy Companies

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(In an earlier story it was incorrectly stated that today's U.S. durable goods data had come in better than expected. Durable goods, of course, plunged in January. But purchases of new homes surged in January and that has buoyed North American markets. A corrected version of the story follows.)

Canadian stocks have overcome and up and down early period and are now firming, up close to 80 points, led by oil and gas stocks and buoyed by the release of better than expected home sales data in the United States, which is Canada's main trading partner. There has been a fair amount of positive data out of the U.S. of late, giving hope its economic recovery is happening.

Most industry sectors are higher, including 1.5% advances for both healthcare and telecom stocks. Shares of energy companies also are rebounding, climbing about 1.4% as a group. Mining stocks are barely higher, with shares of gold mining firms taking their lumps as investors again look to riskier assets following several days of gains following confusing results from Italian parliamentary elections last weekend.


But there was negative news from an investment perspective. Statistics Canada today said public and private capital spending is expected to grow just 1.7% from year ago levels to $398.2 bln during 2013, the smallest increase since the economic downturn in 2009. The primary contributor to the slowdown is an anticipated decline in investment reported by the mining and oil and gas extraction sector. Declines are also anticipated in the information and cultural industries as well as in educational services, the statistic agency said, based on interviews and published data.

Public sector capital investment is seen rising 5% over 2012 levels to $88 bln, the second annual increase in a row. Private sector investment is projected for a 0.8% rise to $310.2 bln.

In company news, TransAlta Corp. (TA.TO,TAC) is down about 2% after reporting adjusted Q4 net income of C$0.21 per share, up from C$0.13 per share in the year-ago quarter but missing analyst forecasts looking for a C$0.28 profit. Revenue slipped 5.7% to C$661 mln, beating Street consensus by about C$53 mln.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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