CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower after reaching 3-year high

Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:24am EST

Feb 25 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open lower on Tuesday after climbing to its highest level in nearly 3 years in the previous session.

TOP STORIES

* In Europe, foreign trade propelled growth in the region's largest economy in the fourth quarter while domestic demand, which had been a key growth driver throughout the rest of the year, was a drag.

* Home Depot Inc reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as the world's largest home improvement chain kept a tight lid on costs to offset weak sales.

* Bank of Montreal said its quarterly profit rose 2 percent as stronger Canadian retail banking income and lower loan loss provisions more than made up for a weaker performance at its U.S. division.

* National Bank of Canada said on Monday its first-quarter profit rose 9 percent, driven by stronger wealth management and financial markets income.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded down 0.01 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.14 to 0.22 percent

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 301.4756; fell 0.46 percent

* Gold futures : $1,333.3; fell 0.37 percent

* US crude : $101.41; fell 1.37 percent

* Brent crude : $110.08; fell 0.51 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,043; fell 0.48 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* BlackBerry Ltd : The company plans to launch a new tool for business and government customers to manage mobile devices on their networks, part of a drive by the one-time smartphone pioneer to focus on its profitable enterprise or services business.

* Rogers Communications Inc : The wireless company was ordered to pay C$500,000 by an Ontario court that said the company did not conduct adequate tests to back up a claim that its Chatr discount brand had better coverage than rivals.

* TransCanada Corp : Canadian regulators said on Monday that an audit of the pipeline company's safety practices found it operated safely for the most part, but identified some key areas where it needs to improve.

ANALYSTS' RECOMMENDATIONS

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

* Lucara Diamond Corp : BMO raises to outperform from market perform rating and raises price target to C$2 from C$1.70 stating that the company's announcement of a dividend opens up to a new suite of returns-focused investors

* Pan American Silver Corp : Goldman Sachs cuts to sell from neutral citing the company's limited ability to generate free cash flow, sees production at its Alamo Dorado project declining

* Western Forest Products Inc : Salman Partners raises target price to C$2.60 from C$2.30 on the company's strong fourth-quarter results, a better understanding of its sales realizations vs. published benchmarks and expectations for further Canadian dollar weakness over the next two years

ON THE CALENDAR

* No major economic events scheduled for the day

* Major U.S. events and data includes Consumer confidence and Richmond Fed manufacturing data