RIM, Financials Lead TSX To Near Yr High Levels


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Canada's main stock market, the Toronto Stock Exchange, ended Monday's session up nearly 70 points, close to year highs and with upward momentum too despite the fact that less than 100 million shares were traded with the U.S. markets shut for Martin Luther King Day.

According to Reuters, the TSX hit its highest levels since late February 2012.

As it was, more than 13 million of the total 97 million shares traded were that of Research In Motion (RIM.TO), which jumped more than 10% to $17.41 having touched a new year high of $18.49. This added to the 7% gained Friday as talk and excitement builds ahead of the Blackberry 10 launch on January 30.

"Research in Motion will look into strategic alliances with other technology companies once it has launched its new BlackBerry 10 models, its chief executive told a German newspaper," Reuters reported. It said: "Germany-born CEO Thorsten Heins told daily Die Welt in an interview published on Monday that the group's strategic review could lead to the sale of RIM's hardware production or the sale of licenses to its software, among other options."

In other positives for the stock, late last week, Jefferies & Co. upgraded RIM to Buy, citing new software which offers corporate e-mail on rival devices. And SeekingAlpha has published an article "Research In Motion - Possible $56 Stock Price In 12 Months?". However, there has been some news that might put a cap on RIM gains. Rival Samsung announced its plans to launch smartphones powered by the latest Tizen operating system.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) closed shy of a new year high of $62.19 posted today, and also shy of what Bloomberg refers to as a May 3, 2010, "peak" of $62.42. Bloomberg said RBC is "leading a rally in bank stocks as wealth-management activity boosts profit, say investors such as Baskin Financial Services Inc.'s Barry Schwartz." CIBC (CM.TO) and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) also hit near year highs. Scotiabank (BNS.TO) went close to year highs. TD Bank (TD.TO) and National Bank (NA.TO) made gains.

Crude oil futures were little changed, retreating from a four-month high as euro-zone finance ministers prepared to discuss the region's debt crisis. Crude oil for February delivery fell two cents to $95.47 a barrel in electronic trading in New York. The more active March contract lost five cents to $95.89.

Gold futures were little changed on a quiet trading day with U.S. markets closed for a holiday. February gold futures settled at $1,689.70, down $1.10 in electronic trading on the Comex in New York. Gold gained 1.6% last week.

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

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