Resource Stocks Lead Toronto's Main Index Higher - Canadian Commentary

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Bay Street stocks have moved higher again on Thursday, led by a strong morning for resource stocks. Toronto's main index is on target for a third straight positive close.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index has added 83.85 points or 0.9% to 9,363.00. The index rallied above 9,410 on Wednesday before giving back a good portion of its daily gains in the final half-hour.

Gold stocks are up 2.6% and materials stocks have added 1.9% as the precious metal has gained on the Comex. New Gold (NGD.TO) has added 4.9%, Eldorado (ELD.TO) is up 4.6%, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) has added 3.2% and Goldcorp (G.TO) is up 3%.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT) is down 1.2% after the company reported a drop in first quarter earnings and also lowered its full-year expectations. The company's first-quarter net income of US$308.3 million or US$1.02 per share, compared to US$566.0 million or US$1.74 per share in the same quarter last year. Rival Agrium (AGU.TO) has lost 1.1%.

Mining stocks are showing a 2.1% gain. First Quantum (FM.TO) has rallied 4.5%, FNX Mining (FNX.TO) has climbed 2% and Teck Cominco (TCK.B.TO) has added 1%.

Energy stocks are up 1.2%. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) has added 2.8% after its first-quarter earnings topped analysts expectations. The company reported earnings of C$227 million or C$0.24 per share, down from C$805 million or C$0.87 per share in the comparable quarter last year.

Tech stocks have gained 1.7%. Celestica (CLS.TO) has rallied 12.5% after the company announced first quarter earnings topped the expectation of analysts. Adjusted net earnings for the quarter were US$29.3 million, or US$0.13 per share, compared to adjusted net earnings of US$35.4 million, or US$0.15 per share, for the same period last year. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of US$0.09 per share.

In other corporate news, IMAX Corp. (IMX.TO) is up 6.6% after the company announced an agreement with China Film Group Corp. to open an IMAX theatre in a new multiplex development in Tianjin, China.

In economic news, Canadian retail sales edged up 0.2% in February to $33.7 billion, according to data released Thursday by Stats Canada. This comes after large declines in retail sales in November and December, followed by a partial recovery in January. February's slight increase was price-driven, as sales were down 0.3% in volume terms.

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