Canadian stocks will look for a third consecutive positive session on Thursday, with rising crude oil prices likely to provide a boost to the energy sector. Toronto's main index finished yesterday at a six-day high.

Energy stocks could see strength as crude oil surged above $50 again, erasing yesterday's slump. Light sweet crude oil for May delivery jumped $2.63 to $51.02 per barrel.

Energy Savings Income Fund (SIF_U.TO) announced that it now expects that both gross margin and the distributable cash will increase by more than 10% for the year. Further, the company believes that unit holders should expect year over year growth for the fourth quarter to be in excess of 15% for gross margin and 20% for distributable cash after margin replacement.

Bombardier (BBD-B.TO) reported fourth-quarter net income of US$309 million or US$0.17 per share, compared to US$218 million or US$0.12 per share last year. The company also announced plans to cut another 3,000 jobs.

Nortel (NT.TO:) said it launched Smart Power Management Software that helps reduce radio network power consumption in GSM networks and delivers significant energy and cost-savings for mobile operators.

Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail reported Air Canada (AC.A.TO) may change its strategy of charging fees for extra services such as additional luggage and sandwiches under new Chief Executive Officer Calin Rovinescu.

Across the border, a Labor Department report showed that initial jobless claims rose to 669,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 657,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 650,000 from the 652,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The S&P/Composite Index added 221.43 points or 2.53% to 8,941.82. The index reached a six-day closing high after hitting a 10-day low earlier this week.

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