U.S. GDP figures not promising
Markets in Toronto rose slightly on Wednesday as gains in oil and gas shares helped offset the impact of data that showed a bigger than expected drop in U.S. economic growth in the first quarter.
The S&P/TSX composite index remained positive 22.67 points to greet noon at 14,895.04
The Canadian dollar was positive 0.18 cents at 93.25 cents U.S.
Shares of energy producers climbed, with Suncor Energy adding 0.7\% to $44.86 and Canadian Natural Resources rising 0.5\% to $48.19.
The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, advanced as Goldcorp gained 0.6\% to $29.40, and First Quantum Minerals Ltd added 0.8\% to $22.30.
In corporate news, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said it had called a special meeting for its shareholders to approve the issue of new shares, another step in its pursuit of Botox maker Allergan Inc. Valeant shares were down slightly at $129.33.
The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 5.22 points to 1,011.36
Eight of the 14 Toronto subgroups were lower midday, with metals and mining down 1.1\%, information technologies subsiding 0.8\%, and consumer staples slipping 0.4\%.
The half-dozen gainers were led by gold, up 1.2\%, while energy and materials each advanced 0.4\%.
The U.S. Supreme Court injected some sunshine into the stock market Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrials took on 24.13 points to 16,842.26
The S&P 500 inched up 4.41 points to 1,954.39, and the NASDAQ composite gained 10.06 points to 4,352.84
CBS Corporation skyrocketed as much as 7\% after the Supreme Court said streaming service Aereo's business model violates broadcasters' rights by using tiny antennas to snap up content on public airwaves.
Shares of Disney, which owns broadcaster ABC, also jumped on the news, as did Comcast, owner of NBC, and Twenty-First Century Fox
Noble shares soared as much as 10\% after the struggling bookseller said it has begun taking steps to separate its retail and Nook segments.
General Mills stooped after the cereal maker reported disappointing earnings that were stymied by expensive promotional activity that didn't translate into greater sales.
Apollo Education ticked up after the for-profit college operator beat earnings estimates. Still, the company said degree enrollment sank significantly at the University of Phoenix.
And Monsanto is up over 5\% after the company announced a big share buyback and strong quarterly results that topped Wall Street expectations.
Shares of Hanesbrands jumped after the company said it planned to acquire French apparel-maker DBA Apparel in an all-cash deal. Mergers and acquisitions activity has spiked this year as companies try to capitalize on their high stock prices by using the cash to buy other companies.
Economically speaking, the U.S. Commerce Department said the economy shrank 2.9\% in the first quarter, even uglier than the 1.8\% decline that economists had predicted.
Analysts were expecting a weak final figure for the period, which included unusually harsh winter weather. In that regard, investors are largely shrugging off the bad news.
Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries hiked, lowering yields to 2.54\% from Tuesday's 2.59\%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices acquired 14 cents to $106.17 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices took on $2.30 at $1,323.60 U.S. an ounce.
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