March 19 Toronto's main stock index looked set
to open lower on Monday, mirroring weakness in U.S. shares, with
investors keen to first see more evidence of improvement in the
economies of Europe and the United States before extending a
FACTORS TO WATCH
* Canadian equity futures pointed to a lower open.
* U.S. stock index futures slipped, indicating equities may
pull back from nearly 4-year highs, after Apple said it
will initiate a dividend and share repurchase program.
* European stocks lost ground in early trade, slipping from
8-month highs hit last week as investors waited for more
evidence of improvement in the economies of Europe and the
United States before chasing the market's brisk 2-month rally.
COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a global
commodities benchmark, rose 0.19 percent in early trade.
* Brent crude oil held around $125 as tension over Iran's
nuclear program supported prices, offsetting news of an increase
in production from Saudi Arabia and efforts by the United States
to ease supply fears.
* Gold steadied above two-month lows, following its largest
weekly fall last week in three months, as evidence of investor
and central bank demand in recent weeks helped offset the
negative impact of a weaker euro.
* Copper steadied as investors weighed concern about demand
in top consumer China, where the key property sector has cooled,
against an improved outlook in the U.S., the world's largest
CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Ensign Energy Services Inc. The oilfield
services provider's fourth-quarter profit rose 64 percent as the
company benefited from the continued drilling boom in North
* Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. : A poll of about a
third of the company's shareholders found that 91 percent of
them want management change at the railroad company, which is
the target of a shake-up campaign by activist investor Pershing
Square Capital Management.
* Air Canada : The airline has asked the
government's labor relations board to intervene after an
unusually large number of pilots called in sick on a busy
spring-break weekend, contributing to numerous flight
cancellations, the company said on Sunday.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian
companies reported by Reuters.
* Advantage Oil : CIBC cuts price target to C$5.25
* Astral Media : National Bank Financial raises
price target to C$50 from C$42
* Badger Daylighting : Canaccord Genuity raises
price target to C$28.50 from C$24
* Canaco : CIBC cuts price target to C$2.80 from
* Chartwell Seniors : CIBC raises price target to
C$10 from C$9.75
* Industrial Alliance : National Bank Financial
raises target to C$34 from C$29
* North West Company : CIBC raises price target to
C$22 from C$21