RTTNews - A rebound in crude oil prices could lead Toronto stocks into positive territory Thursday morning. Bay Street's main index finished the previous session at its lowest level in better than two months.

Crude oil prices have climbed $1.20 to $61.34 per barrel in early trading, moving off of a seven-week low. Meanwhile, gold has edged up $7.40 to $916.70 per ounce and copper has gained 5.65 cents to $2.2155 per pound.

On the corporate front, Air Canada (AC.B.TO) chief executive officer Calin Rovinescu remains confident the beleaguered airliner can avoid bankruptcy, according to the Globe and Mail.

Astral Media Inc. (ACM-A.TO) said its third-quarter net earnings rose to C$44.30 million or C$0.78 per share from C$43.28 million or C$0.75 per share a year ago.

Sandvine Corp. (SVC.TO) reported a wider second-quarter net loss of C$5.63 million or C$0.042 per share compared with C$4.63 million or C$0.034 per share in the year earlier period.

Across the border, earnings season got underway after yesterday's close with a second-quarter report from Alcoa (AA). The aluminum maker's adjusted net loss for the latest quarter was $256 million or $0.26 per share. Analysts expected a loss of $0.38 per share.

In economic news, Canadian housing starts increased to 140,700 units in June from 130,300 units in May, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported. Economists were expecting housing starts to once again rise about 130,000 units.

A U.S. Labor Department report showed that jobless claims fell to 565,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 617,000. Economists had been expecting a more modest decrease to 603,000 from the 614,000 originally reported for the previous week.

On Wednesday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 190.90 points or 1.93% to end at 9,563.45. The index had dipped below 9,550 in mid-afternoon deals.

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