Canadian stocks will look to end a three-day losing streak Wednesday, but early signals are pointing to a lackluster open after bellwether Alcoa kicked off earnings season with a troubling quarterly report.
On Tuesday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped 191.42 or 2.12% to finish the session at 8,824.75. Mining stocks led the decliners with a 4.8% fall.
Wednesday's outlook is not much rosier, although US stock futures have moved well off their early lows on news that homebuilder Pulte Homes will acquire Centex for $1.3 billion.
Meanwhile, according to the Wall Street journal, bankrupt Canadian network solutions company Nortel Networks Corp. (NT: News ,NT.TO: News ) has received an offer from Nokia Siemens Networks to buy key assets. Nokia Siemens reportedly sees this as an opportunity to expand its foothold in the U.S. wireless market. Both the companies have declined to comment on the report.
Tuesday after the bell, Alcoa reported a $497 million net loss for the first quarter, hurt by the impact of the economic downturn on its core industrial and commercial markets as well as an historic decline in aluminum prices. The company's quarterly loss per share also came in worse than what analysts had predicted.
Canadian-based media and entertainment company Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR: News ,CJR-B.TO: News ) posted a lower profit in the second quarter, reflecting better gains last year related to income tax changes.
The company's second-quarter net income amounted to C$29.0 million or C$0.36 per share, compared to C$35.4 million or C$0.41 per share in the year-ago quarter.
Forzani Group Ltd. (FGL.TO: News ) announced a decline in fourth quarter net earnings to C$24.17 million, or C$0.79 per share, from C$28.7 million, or C$0.85 per share in the prior year. The company noted that Athletes World stores added C$0.2 million or C$0.01 per share to consolidated net earnings.
Magna Entertainment Corp. (MECAQ.PK: News ,MEC.A.TO: News ) announced that it has appointed Greg Rayburn as Interim Chief Executive Officer.
The company said that Rayburn will assume the customary responsibilities of the Chief Executive Officer including Chapter 11 restructuring activities and overseeing the sale of assets.
Magna also revealed the resignation of Frank Stronach as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. The company noted that Stronach will retain as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
On the housing front, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts increased to 154,700 units in March from 136,100 units in February, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
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