CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher; U.S. retail sales, earnings eyed

Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:45am EST

Jan 14 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Tuesday despite some disappointing U.S. earnings pre-announcements in the previous session that fuelled worries that the upcoming reporting season may disappoint.

TOP STORIES

* Germany's world-beating current account surplus most likely hit a new record in 2013 of about $260 billion as much of its earnings from exported goods was invested abroad rather than spent at home, the Ifo think tank said.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N reported a better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit as the biggest U.S. bank kept a lid on costs and set aside less money to cover bad loans. The bank, which had agreed to pay $2.6 billion to settle government and private claims over its handling of accounts of fraudster Bernie Madoff, said fourth-quarter net income fell 7.3 percent to $5.28 billion, or $1.30 per share.

* Media company Corus Entertainment Inc's quarterly profit nearly tripled after the company gained from the recent acquisition of specialty television services.

* Charter Communications Inc on Monday formally offered to acquire larger rival Time Warner Cable for $37.3 billion, sparking what is likely to be a contentious battle for control of the No. 2 U.S. cable operator.

* Google Inc took its biggest step to go deeper into consumers' homes, announcing a $3.2 billion deal to buy smart thermostat and smoke alarm-maker Nest Labs Inc, scooping up a promising line of products and a prized design team led by the "godfather" of the iPod.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded up 0.19 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.18-0.22 percent

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 276.7878; rose 0.03 percent

* Gold futures : $1,246.7; fell 0.34 percent

* US crude : $92.15; rose 0.38 percent

* Brent crude : $106.62; fell 0.12 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,310.5; fell 0.25 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc : Drugmakers Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Actavis Plc and Mylan Inc have all expressed interest in buying Pfizer Inc'S branded generics business, but no active discussions are going on at this time, according to three people close to the matter.

* Cogeco Cable Inc : The provider of cable TV and internet and phone services reported an 18 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by recent acquisitions.

* Postmedia Network Canada Corp : Two of Canada's largest newspaper publishers announced another round of layoffs on Monday, as the industry cuts costs to offset sharp declines in sales of print advertising.

ANALYSTS' RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Canadian Natural Resources : SocGen raises target to $42 from $37 on improved reliability and increased volume outlook

* Birchcliff Energy : CIBC raises to sector outperformer, sees superior growth for gas companies

* Oil Producers: CIBC ups target of Raging River Exploration to C$8.25 from C$7 and RMP Energy Inc to $7.25 from $5.40, expects exceptional production and cash flow growth from the companies while maintaining positive balance sheets

ON THE CALENDAR

* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for the day

* Major U.S. events and data includes retail sales, import and export prices and business inventories