Closing Bell TSX racks up solid gain as bargain hunters move in

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market registered a solid gain Tuesday as traders caught up to solid advances made on global commodity and stock markets while the TSX was closed for Victoria Day.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 11451.78 +1.52% +171.14S&P 500 — 1316.63 +0.05% +0.64Dow — 12502.81 -0.01% -1.67Nasdaq — 2839.08 -0.29% -8.13The TSX closed below its best levels of the session as worries about the future of the eurozone eroded gains in mining and energy stocks late in the session.The Toronto market came down from a 254-point surge to close up 171.15 points to 11,451.78 as traders caught up to solid advances made on global commodity and stock markets while the TSX was closed for Victoria Day.Investors had appeared ready to shop for stocks beaten down over three weeks of sharp declines that took the TSX down to the levels of last October, largely because of worries about whether Greece will have to leave the monetary union.The TSX Venture Exchange was up 18.87 points at 1,246.75.“There are still opportunities for investors to be putting money to work in today’s market,” said Craig Fehr, Canadian markets strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Mo.“But there’s no question that in the interim, the lack of (positive) developments out of Europe are really going to have some sort of a grip on the markets day to day.”The Canadian dollar also gave up early gains as the U.S. currency strengthened and early gains in commodities evaporated, closing down 0.09 of a cent to US97.87 cents.New York markets also lost early traction that came from a report that existing home sales rose 3.4 per cent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million, which met economists’ expectations.The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 1.67 points at 12,502.81. The Nasdaq composite index was 8.13 points lower to 2,839.08 and the S&P 500 index inched up 0.64 of a point to 1,316.63.Commodity prices headed lower after closing at multi-month lows last week on demand worries and a strengthening U.S. dollar. Traders have avoided riskier investments such as commodities, equities and resource-based currencies such as the Canadian dollar and bought into the safe haven of U.S. Treasuries.A stronger greenback usually helps depress oil prices, which are denominated in U.S. dollars, as it makes oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.The June crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was off 91 cents at US$91.66 a barrel, wiping out most of Monday’s $1.09 gain. The energy sector gained 2.46% while Canadian Natural Resources was up $1.05 to $31.The base metals sector ran ahead 2.3% while copper was off a cent at US$3.49 a pound following a three-cent rise Monday. Ivanhoe Mines gained 60 cents to $9.36.June gold was off $12.10 to US$1,576.60 an ounce after dipping $3.20. The gold sector was up about 2% and Barrick Gold Corp. advanced 58 cents to $38.45.The financial sector gained almost 1% ahead of earnings reports from the big banks which are expected to show some softening from the last quarter.Royal Bank gained 47 cents to $52.17 and Bank of Montreal climbed 22 cents to $55.25. BMO hands in earnings Wednesday while TD Bank and Royal Bank report the following day. Scotiabank will deliver its earnings report May 29, with National Bank and CIBC following up May 30.In corporate news, social media site Facebook continued to see its share price retreat after making its debut Friday at US$38. It was down US$3.03 or 8.9% from Monday to US$31. It closed Friday at US$38.23.Best Buy Co. said Tuesday that its fiscal first-quarter profit dropped 26% to US$158 million, or 46 cents per share. Excluding restructuring charges, earnings were 72 cents per share against the 59 cents that analysts expected.Here’s the news investors were watching today:OSC makes fraud allegations against Sino-ForestMorgan Stanley shocked investors by cutting Facebook estimates just before IPOOECD urges Canada to hike rates this fall to cool housing marketCommuters to feel impact of potential CP Rail strikeON DECK WEDNESDAYECONOMIC NEWSBank of Japan interest rate decision Bank of England publishes minutes of May policy meeting CANADA8:30 a.m.Retail sales (March): Economists expect 0.3% rise from month before Leading indicators (April): Economists expect 0.3% rise  UNITED STATES10 a.m.New home sales (April): Economists expect 2.1% rise FHFA House price index (March): Economists expect 0.3% rise CORPORATE NEWSCANADABank of Montreal Q2 earnings: Analysts expect $1.36 a share CAE Inc Q4 earnings: Analysts expect 19¢ Canaccord Financial Inc Q4 earnings: Analysts expect 14¢ UNITED STATESHewlett Packard Corp. Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 91¢ a share Hormel Foods Corp. Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 42¢ read more

Closing Bell TSX closes higher as banks turn in strong earns telcos

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market registered a solid gain of almost 100 points mid-afternoon Thursday amid strong bank earnings and an easing of concerns over a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 12,704.73 +97.51 0.77%S&P 500 — 1,638.17 +3.21 0.20%Dow — 14,840.95 +16.44 0.11%Nasdaq — 3,620.30 +26.95 0.75%The S&P/TSX composite index jumped 97.51 points to 12,704.73, with strength also coming from the three big telecoms on speculation that U.S. telco Verizon won’t be entering the Canadian wireless market.The Canadian dollar was down 0.41 of a cent at 94.96 cents US, the first time the loonie has closed below 95 cents since July 8.CIBC (TSX:CM) posted net earnings of $890 million or $2.16 per diluted share in the most recent period while revenue rose to $3.26 billion from $3.15 billion. Adjusted net income was $943 million or $2.29 per share diluted, 14 cents ahead of estimates and its shares gained $2.22 to $82.66.Royal Bank (TSX:RY) shares rose 75 cents to $65.24 as the bank reported record net income of $2.3 billion for the third quarter, an increase of 3% from a year ago. Profit was $1.48 a share ex-items, beating expectations of $1.38. The bank also raised its dividend 6% to 67 cents a share.TD Bank’s (TSX:TD) quarterly net income was $1.53 billion or $1.58 per diluted share, compared with $1.7 billion or $1.78 per share a year ago amid losses on the insurance side of the business. However, earnings ex-items were $1.65 a share against estimates of $1.55 a share and the bank increased its quarterly dividend by four cents, or 5%, to 85 cents per share. TD shares advanced $2.12 to $89.93.Combined profits at the country’s biggest banks slipped to $7.63 billion in the third quarter, even though most of them reported stronger results for the period.“It’s a mixed bag but they are doing well,” said Ron Meisels, president of Phases and Cycles in Montreal.“I believe the banks have found the secret of making money in all environments. Banks have gone into so many side businesses — investments, brokerage business, money management businesses — and they have a lot of ways of taking whatever is there in the economy.”Meanwhile, U.S. indexes advanced amid indications that a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria may not be happening imminently.The latest reading on U.S. economic growth for the second quarter also came in better than expected. Annualized gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 2.5%, better than the 2.2% that economists expected. The original reading was 1.7%.The Dow Jones industrial average rose 16.44 points to 14,840.95 even as the strong data again raised concerns that the Federal Reserve will start to reduce its monetary stimulus as soon as next month. A run of largely solid economic figures had raised the likelihood of the Fed slowing its monthly US$85 billion of bond purchases but some more recent the data have been a little bit more mixed.The Nasdaq was 26.95 points higher at 3,620.3 while the S&P 500 index was 3.21 points higher at 1,638.17.The prospect of an immediate multinational response diminished late Wednesday after the UN Security Council’s permanent members failed to agree to a proposal to use force against Syria. U.S. President Barack Obama also gave the impression that he had not yet decided to back a military strike.There have been appeals to wait until UN inspectors reveal their findings on the apparent chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus that has been blamed on the government of President Bashar Assad. The report is expected within a week.The prospect of intervention in the country’s civil war has rattled markets this week as it has raised fears that such a move could seriously affect a fragile global economic recovery and that fighting could spread to other areas of the Mideast.On the TSX, the telecom sector was the biggest percentage gainer, up 2.18% with Telus Corp. (TSX:T) ahead 82 cents to $33.10, Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B) rose $1.23 to $42.01 and BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) ran up 96 cents to $43.44.Canadian telcos advanced as Britain’s Vodafone PLC confirmed that it was talking to Verizon Communications about selling its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless for as much as $130 billion.That raised speculation that Verizon would not be interested in the possible purchase of at least one of the country’s smaller wireless players. Verizon has said it has had discussions but called it just an exploratory exercise.Most of the resource sectors were in the red but the gold sector shed early gains to move up about 1.2% as gold prices also started to back off following gains earlier in the week. The December bullion contract in New York lost $5.90 to US$1,412.90 an ounce. Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX) improved by 43 cents to C$20.69.The base metals sector was the biggest decliner, down 1.17% while December copper gave back five cents to US$3.26 a pound. HudBay Minerals (TSX:HBM) dropped 13 cents to C$7.Oil prices declined after running up about 4% in the previous two sessions on supply disruption concerns. The October contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $1.30 to US$108.80. The energy sector was off 0.42% and Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO) shed 42 cents to C$44.38. TOP STORIESRoyal, TD, CIBC kick out stellar profits — hooray for consumersTop European banker resigns after family blames him for CFO’s suicideA force 10 times bigger than Syria is driving oil prices higherAir Canada ordered to pay more to passengers bumped from domestic flights WHAT’S ON DECK FRIDAY ECONOMIC NEWSCANADA8:30 a.m.Real GDP (June): Economists expect economy to shrink 0.4% Ottawa reports on monthly budget deficit/surplus UNITED STATES8:30 a.m.Personal income and consumption (July): Economists expect income to rise 0.2%, spending 0.3% 9:45 a.m.Chicago PMI (Aug): Economists expect a reading of 53, up slightly 9:55 a.m.University of Michigan Consumer sentiment index (Aug): Economists expect a reading of 80.5, up slightly CORPORATE NEWSCANADAAlimentation Couche-tard Inc Q1 earnings: Analysts expect 96¢ a share Laurentian Bank Of CanadaLB Q3 earnings: Analysts expect $1.30 a share read more

Stand up for American companies Bombardier and Boeing clash at trade hearing

If the ITC determines there is a threat of injury to the U.S. industry, preliminary countervailing duties could be announced in July, followed in October by preliminary anti-dumping duties, unless the deadlines are extended. Final determinations are scheduled for October and December.Boeing is calling for countervailing duties of 79.41 per cent and anti-dumping charges of 79.82 per cent.The process is similar to the one that has led to duties on Canadian softwood lumber. These are among the looming trade disputes with the U.S., as NAFTA talks could raise the heat on differences over dairy, dispute resolution auto parts and other issues.Boeing complains that Bombardier has received more than US$3 billion in government subsidies so far that have allowed Bombardier to engage in “predatory pricing.”Lawyers for the U.S. aerospace giant argued Thursday that Bombardier’s own words prove it was rescued financially by multibillion-dollar assistance from the Quebec government, which last year invested US$1 billion in exchange for a 49.5 per cent stake in the CSeries. The company also shored up its finances by selling a 30 per cent stake in its railway division to pension fund manager Caisse de depot for US$1.5 billion.The federal government recently provided a $372.5-million loan. That’s on top of about $1 billion received in 2008 from Ottawa, Quebec and Britain to develop the CSeries.Bombardier representatives countered that their planes never competed with Boeing in a sale to Delta — which the American rival describes as a seminal moment.Bombardier lawyer Peter Lichtenbaum said the plaintiff is a global powerhouse that hasn’t lost any sales as a result of Bombardier, has an enviable order backlog and doesn’t even compete with Bombardier in the sales campaigns it has complained about because the CSeries is smaller than Boeing’s 737-800 and Max 8 planes.“Boeing’s petition in this case is unprecedented in its overreach,” he said. “If this is a case of David vs. Goliath, Boeing has cast itself in the wrong role.”Boeing’s annual sales were US$94.6 billion last year. That means the US$330 million Conner expressed concern about amounts to one-third of one per cent of its annual sales. Bombardier revenues last year were US$16.3 billion, including US$9.9 billion from aerospace activities. The Canadian Press WASHINGTON — The next potential Canada-U.S. trade dispute unfolded Thursday as aerospace giants clashed at a Washington hearing that marked the formal launch of investigations into Boeing’s allegations that Bombardier received subsidies allowing it to sell its CSeries planes at below-market prices.“The U.S. market is the most open in the world, but we must take action if our rules are being broken,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement after the hearing began.“While assuring the case is decided strictly on a full and fair assessment of the facts, we will do everything in our power to stand up for American companies and their workers.”U.S. aeronautics powerhouse Boeing argued at the hearing that duties should be imposed on Bombardier aircraft, insisting its smaller Montreal-based rival receives government subsidies that give it an illicit toehold in the international market.Lobbyists, lawyers and aerospace executives crowded the room for a little battle playing out in the broader context of the day’s larger trade news: the U.S. announcement that NAFTA renegotiations will start in the next 90 days.Bombardier in talks with Chinese aircraft manufacturer for potential investment: reportU.S. officially triggers NAFTA renegotiation today, allowing talks to begin in AugustBombardier has made it clear that its true goal is to grab half the international market share for 100-to-150-seat aircraft, according to Boeing, which argues its rival has received an unfair head start from Canadian taxpayers.Boeing vice-president Raymond Conner said the sale of cheap, subsidized planes to Delta Air Lines helped build momentum for Bombardier to enter a new market. If Bombardier reaches its stated goal, he said, it would squeeze Boeing from that market and cost the company US$330 million a year in annual sales.“Today we are at a critical moment,” Conner told the seven-member U.S. International Trade Commission. “If you don’t fix it now, it will be too late to do anything about it later. … What we want is competition that is fair …“You guys can fix this before it is too late.”Boeing has petitioned the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission to investigate subsidies of Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft that it says have allowed the company to export planes at well below cost. A preliminary determination on the petition is expected by June 12.Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg read more

Markets update at midmorning

On the markets at midmorning (ET):The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 2.96 points to 15,819.86, after 90 minutes of trading.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 140.11 points to 23,137.55. The S&P 500 index was up 2.33 points to 2,561.69 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 2.33 points to 6,625.99.The Canadian dollar was trading at 80.13 cents US, up from Tuesday’s average price of 79.69 cents US.The December crude contract was up 13 cents to US$52.24 per barrel and the November natural gas contract was down 10 cents at US$2.86 per mmBTU.The December gold contract was down $3.30 to US$1,282.90 an ounce and the December copper contract was down one cent to US$3.19 a pound.

Plain clothed cops in buses

The police media unit said that these officers will be mostly deployed in buses leaving Colombo this week and buses returning to Colombo next week.When carrying out arrests the plain clothed policemen will have to show their identification cards, the police media unit added. (Colombo Gazette) Plain clothed policemen will be deployed in passenger buses during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year to make sure drivers follow the road rules, the police media unit said today.The plain clothed policemen will travel as ordinary passengers and purchase tickets when travelling in the bus. The plain clothed policemen will also take measures to protect passengers who may fall victim to thugs and pick-pockets in the bus. According to the police there have been complaints from passengers that bus operators often violate road rules when driving during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year as there is less traffic and very few traffic policemen on the road. read more

Captain of ship with 492 Lankan migrants continues testimony

And he told a B.C. Supreme Court jury that he only ended up being the captain after the other passengers on the vessel asked him to take them to Canada. “You got ripped off by the organizers of the ship, didn’t you?” said Hough.“I cannot understand what you mean,” said Emmanuel.“You must feel you were taken advantage of by being charged US$15,000 to get on the ship,” said Hough. A prosecutor suggested Tuesday that a man accused of helping smuggle 492 Tamils into Canada in 2010 was “ripped off” when he ended up being the captain of the vessel that brought the migrants across the Pacific Ocean, the Vancouver Sun reported.Lesly Emmanuel, one of four men on trial, on Monday testified that he had paid US$15,000 as a deposit to be a passenger aboard the MV Sun Sea when it left Thailand for Canada in July 2010. “You must have been very angry when you ended up being the captain of the ship,” Crown counsel Charles Hough said during his cross-examination of Emmanuel on Tuesday.“More than angry, I was deeply concerned about the people on the ship,” said Emmanuel. The Sri Lankan man claimed that he feared for his life if he returned to his home country, where a war had been raging. “The situation was such that my life was in danger in Sri Lanka and I was a refugee and I needed to go to a safe place,” said Emmanuel. The accused testified that he got the US$15,000 from an uncle, who travelled to Bangkok to hand the money over to him. Under questioning from Hough, he said he initially kept the money in a room where he was staying.Asked whether he was concerned about having so much money in his room, he said it wasn’t a problem because the students he was staying with went to school and he would stay at the home.When he left the home, he took the cash with him, carrying it in a backpack, on a trip to the library, he said. Earlier Tuesday, Hough suggested that Emmanuel was motivated to come to Canada by a desire to make more money.“You wanted to go to a western country so that you could make a lot more money than you could make in Malaysia or Thailand, isn’t that correct?” said Hough.“That’s a completely wrong statement,” said Emmanuel.Hough also suggested that Emmanuel wasn’t facing any persecution when he got on-board the MV Sun Sea in 2010 for the voyage across the Pacific.Emmanuel, 42, said that the political situation in Thailand was bad, but Hough pointed out that he wasn’t being mistreated in Thailand.“If anybody suspected me, there was a possibility of anything happening,” said Emmanuel.“But you had a six-month tourist visa, you were there legally in Thailand,” said Hough, who added that Emmanuel wasn’t being mistreated in Malaysia, where he was living before moving to Thailand.“I would have been mistreated,” said Emmanuel.“When you got on the MV Sun Sea, you hadn’t set foot in Sri Lanka in nine years?” said Hough.“In 2006, war started all over again,” replied Emmanuel, who eventually agreed he had not been in Sri Lanka since 2001.The accused, who made a refugee claim when he came to Canada and is currently working at a restaurant in Vancouver, is expected to continue his testimony Wednesday. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Army Commander promoted to Four Star General rank

He was subsequently promoted to the ranks of Captain (1985), Major (1989), Lieutenant Colonel (1994), Colonel (1997), Brigadier (2003) and Major General on 30 November 2009. Upon his assumption of the Army Commander’s Office on 22 February 2015, he was elevated to the rank of Lieutenant General. Blending wide experience and service, General De Silva has held many key staff appointments at the Army Headquarters, including the appointments of Military Secretary, Director Operations, Additional Military Secretary, Director Plans and Colonel (Administration) at the Directorate of Personnel Administration.In addition, he was the Commandant, Chief Instructor and Directing Staff at the Army Command and Staff College and was the first officer to hold all three appointments. Further, he was the Chief Instructor of the Sri Lanka Military Academy at Diyatalawa and the Commandant of the Sri Lanka School of Military Engineering.As one of the most distinguished Officers in the Regiment, General De Silva has commanded the 6 Field Engineer Regiment and later served as the Colonel Commandant of the Corps of Sri Lanka Engineers. President Maithripala Sirisena, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has promoted the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva RWP VSV USP ndu psc, to the rank of General to be effective from Tuesday (27 June 2017).He has been serving as the 21st Commander of the Sri Lanka Army to-date since 22 February 2015. He took office as the Chief of Staff on 1 August 2013 before undertaking an overseas assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission to the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Moscow on 16 May 2014.General Crisanthe De Silva, who has wide-ranging experience in various command, staff and instructional appointments, commanded the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force as its Commandant before he was appointed the Chief of Staff. He was also the Commander of the Security Force Headquarters, Kilinochchi and has served as Commander of the Forward Maintenance Area-East and Kilinochchi. Further, he commanded the Engineer Brigade, 512 and 562 Infantry Brigades as well. Enlisted to the Army on 6th February 1980 and commissioned afterwards on 18th July 1981 as a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Sri Lanka Engineers, he counts an exemplary service career spanning over 37 years in the Army. To his credit, he has attended a number of local and foreign courses of academic and professional value, including the Young Officers’ Course at the prestigious Military College of Engineering Risalpur, Pakistan, his first overseas course. He is also a graduate of the Army Command and Staff College, Camberley, UK and Higher Command College Nanjing, China. He has also obtained a Masters Degree in Defence Studies from National Resilience Institute (Lembaga Ketahanan Nasional), the equivalent of National Defence University of Indonesia.In addition, he has attended the Senior Command Course at the College of Combat Mhow India, Bomb Disposal Course at the College of Military Engineering Pune, India, Engineer Officers Combat Engineering Instructor Course, Pune, India, Engineer Officers Earth-moving Plant, Workshop & Construction Plant, Pune, India, Engineer Company Commanders’ Course at the Military College of Engineering Risalpur, Pakistan and the Advanced Security Cooperation Executive Course at the Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies, Hawai, USA.General De Silva is a proud product of the prestigious Royal College, Colombo and is more popularly known as ‘Crisanthe’ in the organization and among his associates. General De Silva is married to Mrs Nayana De Silva is blessed with twin sons. (Colombo Gazette) He has actively contributed to counter insurgency operations against the LTTE and was awarded the gallantry medals of Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP) and the Uttama Seva Padakkama (USP) for his unblemished military career. He has also been awarded the Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya (VSV) medal for excellent and distinguished career of uninterrupted service. read more