Canadian stocks will look for a fourth straight day of gains on Friday. The market could receive a boost from Research in Motion (RIM.TO), but energy stocks could retreat with oil giving back some of yesterday's gains.
Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM.TO) 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.
In early trading, oil for May delivery dropped 75 cents to $51.89. Crude oil rallied $4.25 on Thursday, helping Canada's energy sector post a 4.35% gain.
In other economic news, West Fraser (WFT.TO: News ) announced additional curtailments of lumber production at its U.S. operations. Production will be curtailed for two weeks beginning April 6, 2009 at the company's mills located at Leola, Arkansas and Whitehouse, Florida, the company noted.
Cascades (CAS.TO: News ) 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.
Senvest Capital Inc. (SEC.TO: News ) reported a net loss for the fiscal 2008 of C$48.46 million or C$18.49 per share, compared to net income of C$5.89 million or C$2.23 per share a year ago.
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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