Bay Street stocks are higher again in early trading Wednesday with the energy sector seeing some strength. With the gain, Toronto's main index has erased more of the sharp losses seen on Monday and is creeping toward its multi-month highs again.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index has risen 100.42 points or 1.08% to 9,347.59. The index rebounded about 120 points yesterday after losing more than 300 on Monday.
Energy stocks are up 1.7%, led by a 3.2% jump for EnCana (ECA.TO). The company announced that its first quarter net earnings increased to US$962 million or US$1.28 per share, from US$93 million or US$0.12 per share in the year ago quarter.
Operating earnings for the quarter was US$948 million or US$1.26 per share, compared to US$1.05 billion or US$1.39 per share in the year ago quarter.
Precision Drilling Trust (PD_UN.TO) has climbed 4.8%. The company reported first quarter net earnings of C$57.42 million or C$0.30 per unit, a decrease of C$49 million or 46%, compared to C$106.27 million or C$0.84 per unit in the prior year quarter. Revenue for the quarter grew to C$448.45 million from C$342.69 million in the prior-year quarter.
In other corporate news, Teck Cominco (TCK.B.TO) has dropped 1% after being downgraded to Neutral from Outperform by Credit Suisse.
Fronteer Development Group (FRG.TO) is up 3% as the company announced Troy Fierro has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer.
CanWest Global Communications (CGS.TO) has surged 16.7% after the company said its lenders have agreed to extend the waiver of certain borrowing conditions until May 5.
Aastra Technologies Ltd. (AAH.TO) has soared nearly 38% after the company reported first quarter earnings that improved to $14.1 million or $1.02 per share, compared to $5.3 million or $0.33 per share in the same period in last year.
On the economic front, Canada's composite leading index fell 1.3% in March following a 1.4% drop in February, according to data released Wednesday morning. The data comes on the heels of Tuesday's surprise interest rate cut by the Bank of Canada.
The contraction in the manufacturing sector intensified as widespread cutbacks were implemented in the auto industry early in the new year. This was offset by a marked slowdown in the fall of the housing and stock markets.
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