TSX Charts New Highs As U.S. GDP Beats -- Canadian Commentary

By RTT News, 
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(RTTNews.com) - Canadian stocks rose to new highs Wednesday morning, lifted by an upbeat U.S. GDP data and a slew of strong Canadian earnings reports.

Meanwhile, investors look ahead to the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy statement due later in the day. It is widely expected that the Fed will reduce its asset purchases by another $10 billion, cutting its monthly asset buying program to $25 billion. Markets are looking for clues about the timing of monetary tightening by the Fed.

Shares from mining, energy, technology and healthcare sections are moving higher. Financial and industrial stocks are rising as well.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 51.52 points or 0.33 percent at 15,498.07, after rising to a new intra-day high of 15,517.22 earlier this morning.

The index had ended up 1.33 points at 15,446.55 on Tuesday, after scaling a high of 15,506.09. The Diversified Metals & Mining Index is up 0.8 percent, with First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) and Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) figuring among the top gainers, moving up more than 1 percent.

The Energy index is up 0.75 percent. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is up 2.8 percent after the company lifted its second quarter profit by over three times. Meanwhile, Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) is up 1.8 percent and Imperial Oil Limited (IMO.TO) is moving up 1.0 percent,

The Information Technology Index is up 1.8 percent. CGI Group Inc. ( GIB.A.TO) is up nearly 2.5 percent after reporting a 26.3 percent jump in third-quarter earnings (year-over-year) to C$225.1 million, from C$178.2 million. Earnings per share climbed 26.8 percent to C$0.71 from C$0.56 a year ago.

Among other gainers in the technology space, DH Corporation (DH.TO) is up nearly 4 percent, Avigilon Corporation (AVO.TO) is surging up 3.3 percent, BlackBerry Limited (BB.TO) is advancing 2.3 percent and Open Text Corporation (OTC.TO) is moving up 1.1 percent,

Among big six banks, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is declining 0.8 percent, while the rest are up in positive territory, gaining 0.3 to 0.7 percent.

Healthcare stocks Catamaran Corporation (CCT.TO) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX.TO) are up 1.3 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

Gold stocks are weak. Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO), Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO), Franco Nevada Corporation (FNV.TO) and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) are lower by 0.8 to 1.2 percent, while B2Gold Corp. is losing over 3.5 percent and Detour Gold Corporation (DGC.TO) is declining more than 4 percent.

Industrial stock Ballard Power Systems Inc. (BLD.TO) is losing nearly 2.5 percent despite narrowing its quarterly loss by 14 percent.

Intact Financial Corp. (IFC.TO) Wednesday reported second quarter net earnings of C$215 million, up from C$103 million last year. Earnings per share rose to C$1.60 from C$0.73 a year ago. The stock is up marginally.

Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ.TO) is up 2.2 percent after the company said it has entered into a share purchase agreement with Hong Kong-based National United Resources Holdings Limited, for the sale of a 29.95 percent stake in SouthGobi Resources Ltd., an integrated coal mining, development and exploration company operating in Mongolia.

TransAlta Corp. (TA.TO) reported a net loss of C$50 million or C$0.18 per share for the second quarter, compared to net earnings of C$15 million or C$0.06 per share in the year-ago quarter. The stock is down marginally.

Thomson Reuters Corporation (TRI.TO) shares are rising nearly 3 percent after the company reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.51 for the second quarter 2014, compared to $0.48 in the prior-year period.

Oando Energy Resources Inc. (OER.TO) has closed its acquisition of the Nigerian Upstream Oil and Gas Business of ConocoPhillips ( COP ) for $1.5 billion in cash, after customary adjustments plus a deferred consideration of $33 million. Oando Energy Resources shares are little changed from previous closing price.

In commodities, crude oil prices are higher ahead of official inventory data. The U.S. Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its weekly oil report at 10:30 am ET.

Crude oil futures for September are up $0.12 or 0.12 percent at $101.09 a barrel.

Natural gas for September is down $0.062 or 1.63 percent at $3.762 per million btu.

Gold futures for December are down $5.20 or 0.40 percent at $1,295.30 an ounce.

Silver for September is down $0.035 or 0.17 percent at $20.548 an ounce. Meanwhile, copper is up $0.019 or 0.60 percent at $3.238 per pound.

In economic news from the U.S., data released by the Commerce Department showed U.S. GDP to have increased by a more than anticipated 4.0 percent in the second quarter following a revised 2.1 percent decrease in the first quarter. Economists had expected GDP to rise by 3.0 percent, compared to the 2.9 percent drop that had been reported for the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, a report from payroll processor ADP showed that employment in the private sector continued to see notable growth in the month of July, increasing by 218,000 jobs, after jumping 281,000 jobs in June. However, it fell short of estimates for an increase of 230,000 jobs.

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This article appears in: News Headlines

Referenced Stocks: ABX , AEM , BMO , BTG , COP

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