TSX moves higher as US markets shut; RIM, Rona in focus
According to a Reuters report, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said the company was open to “strategic alliances” once it launches the Blackberry 10 later this month and that a strategic review could lead to the sale of RIM's hardware production or licenses to its software.
The stock on Friday jumped up about 7% after a Jefferies & Co. analyst upgraded the stock to a "buy" and raised his price target to US$19.50 from $13.
U.S. markets are closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, with Americans focused on the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama.
Overseas, the Bank of Japan kicked off a two-day policy meeting where it is expected to look at ways to boost the economy, including expanding its asset-purchasing program and setting an inflation target.
In Europe, finance ministers are meeting in Brussels to ponder the eurozone debt crisis. According to a MarketWatch report, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister, was expected to be named new chairman.
Back in Toronto as of about 12:45 p.m. EDT, the S&P/TSX Composite was higher by 41.18 points, or 0.32%, to 12,766.87, while the more junior S&P/TSX Venture Composite rose 2.22 points, or 0.18% to 1,237.54.
Gold futures for February traded between slight gains and losses Monday in electronic trade. The yellow metal was lately down $1.70 to $1,689.10 an ounce.
Elsewhere, crude oil for February shed 33 cents to $95.61 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Meanwhile, silver futures rose 20 cents to $32.01 an ounce, and the base metal copper contract added 1 cent to $3.67 a pound.
Toronto's main sectors were also posting gains Monday.
Declines in the sector were seen in Nevsun Resources (TSE:NSU) - down 8.87% after the company late Friday was mentioned in a report by the Sudan Tribune/All Africa Global Media that said it has failed to stop serious human rights abuses against Eritrean employees working at its Eritrea gold mine.
In other metals and mining news, OceanaGold Corp. (TSE:OGC) (ASX:OGC) Monday announced 2012 production and cash costs that it said met its expectations, and said 2013 will see its Didipio project in the Philippines “transition to operations”. For the quarter that ended December 31, 2012, the company reported gold production of 76,844 ounces, resulting in gold production of 232,909 ounces for the year.
Treasury Metals (TSE:TML) provided Monday an update on the mine permitting process for its Goliath gold project in Ontario, after last month announcing the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) accepted its project description. Today, the company said in a statement that the CEAA concluded to have the Goliath project subject to an environmental assessment. It has also received the notice of draft environmental impact assessment (EIS) guidelines.
Perseus Mining (TSE:PRU) (ASX:PRU) saw its shares fall over nine per cent Monday, after it reported second quarter production that came in well below its already revised guidance.
Citing mechanical challenges that held back production growth at its Edikan gold mine in Ghana, the company posted gold production of 51,090 ounces, below its guidance of 58,500 to 61,750 ounces, which was revised down from 65,000 to 70,000 ounces in late November.
Energy was higher Monday, led by Birchcliff Energy (TSE:PIR) Peyto Exploration & Development (TSE:PEY) and Nuvista Energy (TSE:NVA) up 2.17%, 1.69% and 1.43, respectively.
Elsewhere in energy news, Lundin Petroleum (TSE:LUP)(OMX:LUPE) warned Monday that its fourth quarter profit will be impacted by certain exploration costs and asset impairment charges.
In other Canadian corporate news, Canadian home improvement retailer Rona (TSE:RON) saw its shares rise over two per cent Monday after announcing sweeping changes to its board as it looks to recover and refocus after a tumultuous year in 2012.
Among the changes is the addition of Robert Chevrier, who joins Rona's board as executive chairman, effective immediately. Chevrier replaces Robert Paré, who steps down as chairman but continues to serve as a board member.
Vecima Networks (TSE:VCM), a manufacturer for broadband cable and wireless network infrastructure, says its board has authorized a special distribution to shareholders of $1.00 per share, following a strategic review of alternatives.
The distribution, in the form of a return of capital, is subject to shareholders approving a reduction in the stated capital of the common shares.
On the economic front, Statistics Canada said that wholesale sales rose 0.7% in November to $49.6 billion, largely due to higher sales in the computer and communications equipment and supplies industry. In volume terms, wholesale sales were up 0.5%.
U.S. markets are closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but reopen tomorrow as earnings season continues in full force.
Those slated to report this week include tech heavyweights Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN). Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will also be reporting this week, with Apple's numbers on Wednesday set to make a big impact on markets.
Analysts polled by FactSet currently expect Apple to post fiscal first-quarter earnings of $13.45 a share, down from $13.87 a year ago. Revenue, however, is expected to rise to $54.92 billion from $46.33 billion in the year-earlier period.
Economic data this week includes sales of existing homes in December on Tuesday, sales of new homes in December on Friday, with jobless claims and the PMI Manufacturing Index flash out on Thursday.
European markets finished higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX was up 0.61% while France's CAC 40 rose 0.57% and Britain's FTSE 100 advanced 0.43%.