Bay Street stocks are notably higher in afternoon trading on Friday, boosted by higher commodity prices. Traders sifted through a slew of earnings news as well as some key economic data from the U.S.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index has added 171.14 points or 1.83% to move at 9,495.97. The index has closed above 9,500 just once since November 10.
Mining stocks have added to their recent strength and are showing a 7.6% gain in afternoon trading as the price of copper has moved above $2.10 a pound. Teck Cominco (TCK-B.TO) has soared more than 10% after the company said it executed definitive amended and restated credit agreements and related documents, giving effect to the bridge and term loan extension announced on April 21, 2009.
Lundin Mining (LUN.TO) gained 13.8%. The company announced the appointment of Marie Inkster as Chief Financial Officer, effective today. Inkster joined Lundin in September 2008 as Vice President, Finance.
Uranium producer Cameco (CCO.TO) is up 5.9% despite announcing its net income dropped to C$82 million or $0.22 per share, down from C$133 million or$0.37 cents per share a year earlier.
Energy stocks have rallied 3.9% as crude oil prices jumped above $53 a barrel on the NYMEX. Suncor (SU.TO) has surged 7% after being upgraded to Buy from Sell and added to the conviction buy list by Goldman Sachs. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is up after Goldman Sachs raised its price target for the stock to $55 from $47.
In other corporate news, Research in Motion (RIM.TO) has added 3% after being upgraded to Buy from Neutral by UBS. Tech stocks are up 1.8%.
TransCanada (TRP.TO) shares are up 1.3%. The company reported net income for first quarter 2009 of C$334 million, or C$0.54 per share, compared to C$449 million, or C$0.83 per share, for first quarter 2008.
ATCO (ACO-X.TO) has climbed nearly 2.6% after the company reported adjusted first-quarter earnings of C$96.1 million or C$1.66 per share, compared to C$92.3 million or C$1.60 per share for the same three months in 2008.
On the economic front across the border, the Reuters/University of Michigan's revised reading on consumer sentiment in April came in at 65.1, compared to 57.3 in the month of March. Meanwhile, march factory orders fell 0.9% in March, while the ISM manufacturing index climbed to 40.1 for April.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization on Friday revealed the limitation in providing a clinical solution to its fight against the swine flu outbreak. According to a WHO official, tests prove the current seasonal vaccine against flu would not be effective against the new H1N1 strain.
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