Toronto stocks remain lower on Friday, following the lead of foreign markets, and look destined for a third negative close in four sessions. Resource stocks have led the decliners with gold and oil falling in NYMEX trading.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index has dropped 141.13 points or 1.56% to move at 8,854.37. The index touched above 9,000 Thursday for the first time since Feb. 10.
Energy stocks are down 2.4% crude oil has dropped $1.95 to $52.39 per barrel. Paramount Resources (POU.UN.TO) has dropped 5.5%, Encana (ECA.TO) is down 4.4% and Baytex (BTE.UN.TO) has dropped 4%.
Penn West Energy Trust (PWT.UN.TO) has lost 10.2% after the company revealed it will limit its spending in 2009.
Great Plains Exploration (GPX.TO) is up 2.2% after reporting oil and gas sales for the quarter grew 61% to C$9.6 million from C$6.0 million in the same period last year. The company reported a net loss for the fourth quarter was C$2.5 million or C$0.03 per share, compared to profit of C$1.0 million or C$0.02 per share in the prior year period.
Gold stocks are down 2.8% and materials stocks are down 1.7% as the precious metal has dropped sharply on the Comex. Seabridge (SEA.TO) has dropped 3.3%, Yamana (YRI.TO) has dipped 2.7%, Goldcorp (G.TO) is down 2.6%, Barrick (ABX.TO) has declined 2.6% and Agnico -Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is down 2.5%.
Also in the materials sector, Agrium (AGU.TO) is down 3.2% after the company revealed an increase in bid acquire CF Industries Holdings (CF). CF stockholders will now receive $35.00 in cash, an increase of $3.30, or 10.4%, in the cash consideration, as well as one common share of Agrium for each CF share.
The Financial Index has dropped 0.8% with all of the big six banks in the red. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is down 0.9% after the company said it will increase its public offering of preferred stock to 11 million shares. The gross proceeds of the offering will now be $275 million.
In other corporate news, Lululemon Athletica (LLL.TO) has soared 12.1% after the company reported fourth quarter net income of $0.16 per share, a penny better than Wall Street's expectations.
Ondine Biopharma Corp. (OBP.TO) has dropped 6.25% after the company reported fourth-quarter loss of C$2.12 million or C$0.03 per share, compared to loss of C$2.73 million or C$0.05 per share last year.
Across the border, the Commerce Department reported personal spending rose 0.2 percent in February following an upwardly revised 1.0 percent increase in January. The modest increase in spending came in line with the expectations of economists.
At the same time, data showed personal income edged down 0.2 in February after a downwardly revised 0.2 percent increase in the previous month. Economists had been expecting a slightly more modest 0.1 percent decrease.
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