CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher: earnings, Wall Street eyed

Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:53am EDT

Oct 31 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to join Wall Street by opening higher on Wednesday, with investors also set to take cues from Canadian corporate earnings.

U.S. stock index futures rose in what could be a volatile day of trading as equity markets reopen after a damaging storm forced a two-day market closure.

TOP STORIES

* Millions across the U.S. Northeast stricken by massive storm Sandy will attempt to resume their normal lives as companies, markets and airports reopen despite grim projections of power and mass transit outages around New York for several more days.

* Potash Corp, the world's largest fertilizer maker, is in talks with Israel's government about merging with its smaller rival Israel Chemicals, ICL's parent company said.

* Greece more than halved its forecast for a budget surplus before debt servicing in 2013, dimming one of its few bright spots as rounds of austerity deepen the country's recession.

* Barclays, already rocked by an interest rate rigging scandal, unveiled two new U.S. regulatory investigations into the bank's financial probity and said its profit was hit by charges for mis-selling insurance.

* Walt Disney Co agreed to buy filmmaker George Lucas's Lucasfilm Ltd and its "Star Wars" franchise for $4.05 billion in cash and stock, a blockbuster deal that includes the surprise promise of a new film in the series in 2015.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.17 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.34 percent to 0.55 percent

* European shares, were up

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 297.01; rose 0.47 percent

* Gold futures : $1,719; rose 0.5 percent

* US crude : $86.26; rose 0.68 percent

* Brent crude : $109.56; rose 0.44 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,806.5; rose 1.12 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Russel Metals Inc. : The metal distribution company posted a 14 percent fall in third-quarter profit due to lower steel prices.

* Torstar Corp. : The publisher reported a 44 percent fall in third-quarter profit on lower spending by advertisers.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.

* Gibson Energy Inc. : CIBC ups target to C$24.25 from C$22.50 following the close of its $403 million subscription receipts that will be used to finance the Wellspring Omni Holdings acquisition.

* InterRent REIT : Canaccord Genuity raises target to C$6.50 from C$6, says multiple avenues of high quality cash flow growth should continue to drive higher net asset value.

* Parkland Fuel Corp. : RBC raises price target to C$17 from C$15, says strong western Canadian refining margins should help boost earnings.

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes GDP by industry

* Major U.S. events and data includes Chicago PMI

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