CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady on mixed US news, focus turns to Canada

Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:38pm EDT

* TSX up 0.07 of a point at 12,300.30
    * Five of the TSX's 10 main groups end higher
    * Positive U.S. economic data offsets dim corporate results

    By Solarina Ho
    TORONTO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks closed flat on
Friday after a choppy session in which stronger-than-expected
U.S. economic data fought with limp U.S. earnings for the
attention of a market that was waiting for the Canadian
reporting season to start in earnest next week.
    "A lot of people who have positioned themselves are really
just waiting for the news (to) see how things are going to come
out on this side of the border," said Brian Pow, vice president,
research and equity analyst at Acumen Capital Partners in
Calgary, adding that disappointing results from U.S. companies
have been setting the market's tone.
    "Most people are trying to really figure out what the end of
the year brings, what the results are going to be, and until
they get an initial sense, I think they're going to be a little
bit more cautious," Pow said.
     The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed 0.07 of a point higher at 12,300.30. On the
week, it was down just under 1 percent.
    Five of the TSX's index's main groups were lower, including
the financial, energy and materials sectors, which together make
up roughly three-quarters of the index's weight. Energy was down
0.24 percent, while materials was off 0.27 percent. Financials
were nearly flat, sliding a mere 0.04 percent.
    Heavyweight decliners included diversified miner Teck
Resources Ltd, which shed 2.17 percent to finish at
C$31.04, and oil producer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
, which fell 0.77 percent to C$29.70.
    Heavyweight gainers included pipeline company Enbridge Inc
, which closed up 0.95 percent, at C$39.40, and telecom
Telus Corp, which rose 1.43 percent to C$63.31. Rogers
Communications finished 1.66 percent higher at
C$44.18.
    The overall telecoms group was up 0.81 percent.
    Sentiment was helped by U.S. data that showed gross domestic
product expanded at a 2 percent annual rate in the third quarter
as a late burst of consumer spending outweighed the first
cutbacks in business investment in more than a year. GDP growth
in the second quarter was 1.3 percent. 
    "My impression is that the U.S. GDP data has given stocks
some reprieve after weakness in overseas markets and generally
disappointing corporate earnings," said Fergal Smith, managing
market strategist at Action Economics.
    Tempering the positive news were lackluster results from
Amazon.com and Apple Inc. 
    "The technical backdrop (for U.S. stocks) has worsened and
there are significant uncertainties in the next couple of weeks,
so there's a real reason to trim risk ahead of the U.S.
election," Smith said.
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