RTTNews - Canadian stocks finished a volatile session modestly higher Wednesday, boosted by encouraging employment data from the U.S. Strength in the resource sectors again led the market higher.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 28.83 points or 0.26% to settle at 11,046.93. With the rise, the market extended its best finish since early October.

Mining stocks finished up 1.75%. FNX (FNX.TO) added 5.6%, Inmet (IMN.TO) gained 4%, HudBay (HBM.TO) rallied 3.9%.

Industrials rose 1%. Bombardier (BBD.B.TO) surged 8.2% and CAE (CAE.TO) added 6.7%.

Materials stocks gained 1% as Agrium (AGU.TO) rose 2.9% after beating analysts expectations in the second quarter. The fertilizer maker announced that its second quarter net earnings were US$370 million or US$2.35 per share, compared to US$636 million or US$4.00 per share, for the same quarter of 2008. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of US$1.81 per share for the quarter.

Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) dropped 2.5% after it reported adjusted second quarter net earnings of US$95.8 million or US$0.13 per share, down from US$102.7 million or US$0.15 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Randgold Resources said that it has entered into a business combination with Moto Goldmines Ltd. (MGL.TO). Moto terminated an existing arrangement agreement with Red Back Mining (RBI.TO) and initiated payment of termination fee of C$15.25 million. Following the news, Moto shares fell 3.8%, while Red Back jumped 4.6%.

Fortis Inc. (FTS.TO) slipped a half-percent after the company reporetd second-quarter net income applicable to common shares of C$53 million or C$0.31 per share, compared to C$29 million or C$0.18 per share in the same quarter last year.

Labopharm (DDS.TO) gained 4.5% after the company announced that it has filed a New Drug Submission or NDS with the Therapeutic Products Directorate of Health Canada for its novel formulation of the antidepressant trazodone.

Iamgold (IMG.TO), Imax (IMAX.TO) and Tim Hortons (THI.TO) are on tomorrow's earnings calendar.

On the economic front, Canadian buildings permits data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET. Permits are expected to rise 1% in June after surging 14.8% in the previous month.

The run of U.S. employment data continues as initial jobless claims data is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET. First-time applicants for unemployment benefits are expected to fall to 580,000 in the week ended Aug. 1, compared to 584,000 reported a week earlier.

In economic news, ADP said non-farm private employment fell by 371,000 jobs in July following a revised decrease of 463,000 jobs in June. Economists had been expecting a decrease of about 350,000 jobs compared to the loss of 473,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

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