A.M. market numbers: November 5, 2009

By Staff | November 5, 2009 | Last updated on November 5, 2009
4 min read
| North American markets | International markets | Bonds | Currency | Commodities |

North American stock markets were likely headed for a slightly higher open Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s assessment of economic conditions failed to provide much inspiration for buyers.

Dow Jones industrial futures were 10 points higher to 9,795, Nasdaq futures were ahead 2.2 points to 1,689 while S&P futures added 0.2 of a point to 1,047.2.

The Canadian dollar was off 0.03 of a cent to 93.97 cents US.

The U.S. central bank Wednesday said it was keeping rates near zero and will do for an extended period of time. The Fed also warned that household spending would remain "constrained by ongoing job losses, sluggish income growth, lower housing wealth and tight credit."

On Wednesday, investors initially cheered the Fed’s assessment of the economy, which followed earlier reports on service industries and employment that seemed to ease some of investors’ ongoing concerns. But stocks failed to hold on to their big gains. Both the TSX and the Dow racked up only modest gains after earlier rising more than 150 points.

Oil prices lost ground Thursday as the U.S. dollar strengthened. The December oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was down 30 cents to US$80.10 a barrel.

Crude headed higher Wednesday after U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly fell last week, a sign demand could be improving.

Bullion moved deeper into record high territory, with the December contract in New York up $4.10 to US$1,091.40 an ounce while December copper eased two cents to $2.97 a pound.

Investors took in mixed sales results for U.S. retailers during October.

As merchants report their figures Thursday, Costco Wholesale Corp.’s sales at stores open at least a year rose 5%. Children’s Place Retail Stores and Stage Stores Inc. are reporting declines. Limited Brands Inc. is reporting a bigger-than-expected sales drop.

Many analysts think that the markets are at a crucial juncture after running practically straight up since early March and that stocks could be facing a year-end slide. Over the last couple of months, most of the dips have proved to be short-lived.

However, the markets have been very volatile over the last couple of weeks, with many traders wondering whether current stock valuations are justified by the wider economic fundamentals, especially if the global economic recovery peters out as pent-up demand and restocking fizzle out.

Later Thursday morning, the U.S. Labour Department will issue its weekly report on the number of workers filing for unemployment benefits for the first time. That report will come a day ahead of the department’s key report on monthly job losses. Investors are worried that so long as unemployment remains high, consumer spending will be sluggish and lead to slower economic growth.

Canadian employment data for October is also released Friday.

There were plenty of early earnings reports to consider Thursday.

Sun Life Financial Inc. cut its third-quarter loss by more than half but not as much as analysts had expected. The company turned in a net loss of $140 million or 25 cents per share, an improvement from a net loss of $396 million or 71 cents per share a year ago. Revenue more than tripled to $8.8 billion due to big increases at Sun Life’s operations in Canada and the United States.

Analysts had estimated Sun Life would produce a smaller loss of 19 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters, although such estimates typically exclude unusual items.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited reports net income of $658 million or $1.21 per share in third quarter, down from year-ago profit of $2.8 billion or $5.25 cents per share. Quarterly revenue totals $2.82 billion, down from $4.6 billion last year as lower natural gas prices and high production costs take their toll.

In the U.S., Cisco Systems’ net income dropped 19% to $1.8 billion, or 30 cents per share. Excluding one-time charges, Cisco earned 36 cents per share. Revenue fell 13% to US$9 billion. However, analysts expected even steeper declines.

In other corporate news, Magna International Inc. says it won’t pursue any more automakers after its failed bid to buy a stake in General Motors’ Opel European subsidiary. Don Walker, Magna’s co-chief executive officer, says the company will now focus on auto parts acquisitions.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average fell 1.3% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.6%.

European markets were lower as central banks also held the line on interest rates.

The Bank of England said Thursday it will pour another 25 billion pounds (US$41 billion) into the economy to get Britain out of recession as it kept its main interest rate at a record low of 0.5%.

The move came after last week’s surprise news that the country remains in recession.

Frankfurt’s DAX was down 0.2% while the Paris CAC 40 was off 0.13% after the European Central Bank left its main interest rate unchanged at 1% even as signs emerge the 16 countries that use the euro are slowly emerging from recession.

(The Canadian Press)

North American markets Back to Top
Dow Jones 9,802.14 +30.23 or +0.31% +11.69%
S&P 500 1,046.50 +1.09 or +0.10% +15.86%
NASDAQ 2,055.52 -1.80 or -0.09% +30.34%
TSX Composite 11,071.20 +45.30 or +0.41% +23.18%

International markets Back to Top
Open Change YTD
Nikkei 9,717.44 -126.87 or -1.29% +9.68%
Hang Seng 21,479.08 -135.69 or -0.63% +49.29%
SENSEX 16,063.90 +151.77 or +0.95% +66.51%
FTSE 100 5,089.47 -18.42 or -0.36% +14.78%
CAC 40 3,663.76 -6.57 or -0.18% +13.85%
DAX 5,429.92 -14.31 or -0.26% +12.88%

Bonds Back to Top
Bonds $Current $Previous %Yield
Cdn. 10-year bond 102.28 102.64 3.47
Cdn. 30-year bond 116.95 117.80 3.98
U.S. 10-year bond 100.84 101.02 3.52
U.S. 30-year bond 101.50 102.25 4.41

Currency Back to Top
BoC Close Today Previous
Canadian $ 0.9397 0.9410
US $ 1.0642 1.0626

Euro Spot Rate Today Previous
Canadian $ 0.6320 0.6378
Euro 1.5823 1.5679

Commodities Back to Top
Gold AM PM
London Gold Fix ($US) $1,044.50 $1,090.00

Oil Open Change
WTI Crude Future (US) $80.11 -$0.29 or -0.36%


Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.