CANADA STOCKS-TSX looks set to open little changed

Thu May 8, 2014 7:27am EDT

May 8(Reuters) - Canadian stocks looked set to open little changed on Thursday, underpinned by upbeat Chinese trade data and dovish comments by Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

June futures on the S&P TSX index <0#SXF:> were flat at 0715 ET.

Housing starts data is due at 0815 ET and the new housing price index at 0830 ET.

The index advanced on Wednesday as market-supportive comments from Yellen helped to fuel gains in energy and financial shares.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.16 percent at 0715 ET while S&P 500 futures were up 0.06 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.01 percent.

China's exports and imports returned to slight growth in April as orders to the United States and European Union surged.

(Morning News Call newsletter link.reuters.com/nex49s; The Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)

TOP STORIES

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc , Canada's largest listed drugmaker, reported a 35 percent jump in cash earnings, helped by robust drug sales in the United States and in its Bausch & Lomb eyecare business.

Kinross Gold Corp reported a sharp drop in first-quarter net earnings after the close on Wednesday due to weaker bullion prices but its production increased and costs edged lower.

COMMODITIES AT 0715 ET

Gold futures : $1,288.5; -0.01 pct

US crude : $100.49; -0.28 pct

Brent crude : $107.70; -0.4 pct

LME 3-month copper : $6,650.00; -0.6 pct

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Intact Financial : National Bank Financial cuts rating to sector perform from outperform

Tim Hortons : Raymond James, Canaccord Genuity cut target; CIBC raises target

Trican Well : Canaccord Genuity ups to buy; National Bank Financial up target

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON THURSDAY

0830 Initial jobless claims: Expected +325,000 prior +344,000

0830 Jobless claims 4-wk avg: Prior +320,000

0830 Continued jobless claims: Expected +2.75 mln prior +2.77 mln

FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES:

TSX market report

Canadian dollar and bonds report

Reuters global stocks poll for Canada

Canadian markets directory

($1= $1.09 Canadian) (Reporting by Mononshila Deka in Banagalore; Editing by Ted Kerr)