Technology stocks have led Toronto's main index higher on Friday after an encouraging earnings report from Research in Motion (RIM.TO). Mining stocks are also enjoying a strong day.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 59.44 points or 0.65% to 9,132.58. The index on on target for its best close since Jan. 8.
The Technology Index is up 5.8%. Research in Motion stock has soared 20.6% after the company reported net income for the fourth quarter of $518.3 million or $0.90 per share, compared to $412.5 million or $0.72 per share for the year-ago quarter.
RIM expects first-quarter revenue of $3.3 billion to $3.5 billion and earnings of $0.88 to $0.97 per share. Analysts currently expect the company to earn $0.82 per share on revenue of $3.35 billion.
Mining stocks have gained 3.6%. First Quantum (FM.TO) has surged 8% and Teck Cominco (TCK.B.TO) is up 5% to lead the way.
Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) is down 3.2% after the company said it will sell 80 million of its common shares to a syndicate of underwriters led by GMP Securities for gross proceeds of $164 million.
Gold stocks are down 6.9% and materials stocks have lost 3.6% as the precious metal moved below $900 on the Comex. Iamgold (IMG.TO) has plunged 9%, Seagold (SEA.TO) has dropped 7.8% and Eldorado (ELD.TO) is down 7.1%.
June-dated gold, the most actively traded contract, dropped $11.60 to finish the session at $897.30 per ounce. APril gold dropped $11.80 to $895.60.
In other corporate news, West Fraser (WFT.TO) has lost 1.9% after the company announced additional curtailments of lumber production at its U.S. operations. Production will be curtailed for two weeks beginning April 6 at mills in Arkansas and Florida.
AbitibiBowater (ABH.TO) is up 12.2% after the company said it may receive least $50 million of additional funding from Steelhead Partners and Fairfax Financial Holdings ( FFH.TO).
Cascades (CAS.TO) has slipped 1.25% after the company said that Norampac, a division of Cascades Canada Inc., will terminate production activities at its Quebec city based corrugated products plant, due to considerable reduction in business volume and unfavorable economic factors. Nearly 145 employees will be affected by this closure that will be effective before the end of 2009.
Sino-Forest (TRE.TO) has dropped 4.4% after Friday, Credit Suisse downgraded the shares to Neutral from Outperform, while increasing its price target to C$12 from C$10.
Ivernia (IVW.TO) has lost 10.2% after Griffin Mining announced that it has withdrawn its proposed takeover for the company.
Across the border, a Labor Department report showed that non-farm payroll employment fell by 663,000 jobs in March following an unrevised decrease of 651,000 jobs in February. The drop in jobs came roughly in line with economists' expectations of a decrease of 658,000 levels.
With the continued decrease in jobs, the unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent in March from 8.1 percent in the previous month, in line with expectations. With the increase, the unemployment rate rose to its highest level since November of 1983.
Thursday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index surged 131.32 or 1.46% to 9,073.14. This marked the best finish for the index since Jan. 9.
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