Canadian stocks may struggle to move higher Wednesday morning as traders might exercise caution ahead of a crucial EU meeting to consider tangible steps to tackle the euro debt crisis, scheduled today. However, firm commodities might help lift trader sentiment, lending a floor to stocks.
On Tuesday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index snapped its 2-session winning streak to shed 52.54 points or 0.43 percent to 12,109.75.
The price of crude oil was steady near its 3-month high Wednesday morning as traders await cues from the official inventories data, due out later during the session. Today during trading hours, the EIA will come out with its U.S. crude oil inventories report for the week ended October 21. Analysts expect crude oil inventories to rise by 1.48 million barrels, while gasoline stocks are seen dipping 1.75 million barrels. Crude for December edged down $0.24 to $92.93 a barrel.
The price of gold advanced to monthly high Wednesday morning as traders turned cautious ahead of the EU summit on euro zone debt issues, scheduled later today. Gold for December gained $5.60 to $1,706.00 an ounce.
In corporate news from Canada, MEG Energy slipped in to the red in third quarter, reporting net loss of C$115.2 million or C$0.60 per share compared with a profit of C$21.2 million or C$0.11 per share in the previous year. The company noted that the net loss in the quarter was mainly due to unrealized foreign exchange losses of C$101.4 million compared to a foreign exchange gain of C$28.8 million for the same period in 2010.
Communications and media company Rogers Communications reported that its third-quarter net income rose to C$491 million or C$0.87 per share, from C$380 million or C$0.66 per share in the same quarter last year.
Media company Astral Media Inc. reported a higher fourth quarter net income of C$47.8 million or C$0.85 per share compared to C$38.4 million or C$0.67 per share for the year-ago quarter.
Power generation company Capital Power Corp. reported a lower third quarter net income of C$15 million or C$0.29 per share compared to C$16 million or C$0.74 per share last year.
Waste management company Progressive Waste Solutions reported a much improved third quarter net income of $40.3 million or $0.33 per share compared to $23.9 million or $0.20 per share in the same period last year. Adjusted net income was $35.1 million or $0.29 per share compared to $32.5 million or $0.27 per in the comparative period. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of $0.32 per share for the quarter.
Commercial real estate company MI Developments Inc. said it would convert itself from a Canadian corporation to a Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust.
In economic news from south of the border, the U.S. Commerce Department said new orders for manufactured durable goods in September fell $1.5 billion, or 0.8 percent, to $200.3 billion. Most economists had predicted a somewhat greater decline in durable goods order, forecasting a full 1 percent drop. Excluding the transportation section, however, durable goods orders actually posted a 1.7 percent increase, well higher than the 0.5 percent increase most economists had predicted.