Canadian stocks were little changed as Canadian National Railway Co. (CNR) surged on increased North American rail traffic, while profit concern sent shares of Catamaran Corp. (CCT) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce lower.
Canadian National, which operates railroads, added 2.1 percent as rail traffic in North America rose 4.7 percent from a year ago. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce lost 1.1 percent after reporting falling profit. Catamaran, a pharmacy services provider, dropped 4.5 percent after its revenue projection for the year trailed estimates. Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) and Goldcorp Inc. lost at least 0.9 percent as gold fell.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index (SPTSX) rose 13.70 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,746.09 at 12:21 p.m. in Toronto. The S&P/TSX has risen 0.4 percent this month, headed for a third month of gains.
“People are buying because they’re afraid to lose on the upside, which is a sign the market top is approaching,” Keith Richards, a fund manager with ValueTrend Wealth Management, said in a phone interview from Barrie, Ontario. The firm manages about C$100 million.
Industrial stocks contributed most to gains in the S&P/TSX as six of 10 industries advanced. Trading volume is 6.1 percent lower than the 30-day average at this time of the day.
Royal Bank of Canada (RY) added 0.7 percent to C$63.92 after posting adjusted first-quarter earnings of C$1.38 a share, ahead of the C$1.32 average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The bank raised its quarterly dividend 5 percent to 63 Canadian cents a share.
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) lost 31 Canadian cents to C$83.98, erasing earlier gains of as much as 71 cents. The bank reported adjusted first-quarter earnings of C$2 a share, topping the C$1.93 average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
CIBC slipped C$1.06 to C$82.82 after reporting a 4.4 percent drop in profit to C$798 million.
Canadian National gained C$1.94 to C$103.62, headed for an all-time high. North American rail traffic rose 4.7 percent year-over-year to 672,000 units in the week ended Feb. 23, Lee Klaskow, an analyst with Bloomberg Industries, said in a report today.
Catamaran declined C$2.29 to C$54.48. The company, which provides technology services for the pharmacy and healthcare industries, said it expects $14.2 billion to $14.6 billion in revenues in 2013, short of analysts’ expectations of $14.9 billion. Catamaran sees 2013 adjusted earnings per share of $1.81 to $1.88, with consensus estimates at $1.84.
Barrick Gold dropped 1 percent to C$31.31 and Goldcorp declined 0.9 percent to C$33.58. Gold for April delivery fell 0.9 percent to $1,582.20 an ounce in New York, headed for a fifth monthly loss and the longest slump since January 1997.
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