CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower after soft U.S retail data

April 12 Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:40am EDT

April 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index looked set to open lower on Friday, mirroring its U.S. counterpart, following the release of unexpectedly soft U.S. retail sales data.

TOP STORIES

* U.S. retail sales contracted in March for the second time in three months, a sign the American economy may have stumbled at the end of the first quarter.

* Output at euro zone factories rose greater than expected in the month of February on a jump in energy production, a sign of growing demand giving hope the currency bloc will return to growth this year.

* Cyprus is considering putting EU structural funds to earlier use to help its stricken economy but is not asking for a bigger bailout from the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund than the agreed 10 billion euros, EU officials said.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co posted an increase in first-quarter profits as the bank benefited from lower expenses.

* Canadian dollar-store operator Dollarama Inc reported a 21 percent rise in quarterly profit as it sold more items priced above C$1.00 and it raised its dividend by 27 percent.

* U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co plans to layoff about 1,000 domestic sales representatives to reduce costs, as it faces daunting generic competition, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded down 0.49 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.39 percent and 0.27 percent

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 288.8049; fell 0.57 percent

* Gold futures : $1,543.2; fell 1.35 percent

* US crude : $92.15; fell 1.45 percent

* Brent crude : $102.7; fell 1.51 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,526; fell 1.1 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Coal miner Walter Energy Inc, which is locked in a proxy fight with an activist hedge fund, said on Thursday that its first-quarter performance had improved from that of the fourth quarter of 2012.

* Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce said it will buy Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management from money manager Invesco Ltd for $210 million to bulk up its U.S. money management business.

* Oil firm Suncor Energy Inc has drilled a dry well in the UK sector of the North Sea, a partner in the well said.

ANALYSTS' RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Cogeco Cable Inc : CIBC raises price target to C$47 from C$45 on the company's strong second-quarter results, sees cable valuations treading higher.

* Cogeco Inc : CIBC raises target to C$43.50 from C$41 on valuation changes after the company posted strong second-quarter results.

* Corus Entertainment Inc : Canaccord Genuity cuts target price to C$22.50 after the company reported lower-than-expected second-quarter results.

* Hudson's Bay Co : CIBC cuts target to C$20 from C$22 on the company's lower-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

* TMX Group Ltd : National Bank Financial cuts price target to $57 from $58 citing weak trading volumes and equity financing activity.

ON THE CALENDAR

* No major economic data scheduled for release

* Major U.S. events and data includes producer price index, retail sales and Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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