April 19 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open higher as investors turned attention to the Group of 20 meeting at which policymakers will debate monetary expansion policies and debt levels around the world.
* The euro zone will slow its budgetary belt-tightening to help reinvigorate economic growth, a top EU official said on Thursday, highlighting a policy shift the United States has long been pressing for.
* General Electric Co reported a first-quarter profit in line with Wall Street’s expectations, as the conglomerate sold more jet engines and shed its stake in NBC Universal.
* Honeywell International Inc reported a 17 percent rise in first-quarter profit, helped by higher margins.
* Schlumberger Ltd, the world’s largest oilfield services company, reported a profit that topped analysts’ estimates for the sixth straight quarter, helped by robust drilling activity outside North America.
* Baker Hughes Inc, the world’s third-largest oilfield services provider, reported a higher-than-expected profit and forecast a modest increase in U.S. rig counts for 2013.
* IBM Corp posted a rare quarterly earnings miss as the technology services company struggled with the depreciation of the Japanese yen and a failure to close a number of major deals, especially in Europe and the United States.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.53 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.43 percent to 0.63 percent
* European shares, were up
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : was unchanged
* Gold futures : $1408; rose 1.15 percent
* US crude : $88.31; rose 0.66 percent
* Brent crude : $99.82; rose 0.7 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7014.25; fell 1.04 percent
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Cardero Resource Corp : Paradigm Capital cuts target price to C$1.05 from C$1.85 on weak investment climate.
* National Bank of Canada : RBC raises rating to outperform from sector perform, citing the company’s attractive valuation relative to its peer group.
* Silver Wheaton Corp : RBC cuts target price $33 from $48 on valuation.
* The Jean Coutu Group Inc : National Bank Financial raises price target to C$17 from C$16, believes the company’s strong balance sheet and free cash flow profile can support increasing returns of capital to shareholders.
* Major Canadian economic data includes CPI for March
* No major U.S. events and data scheduled for release