Equities nose-dive by close
(Baystreet Stock Market Update (Canada) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Quebecor to lay off 500
The Toronto stock market was lower Tuesday afternoon while traders fretted over a delay in organizing a crucial instalment of bailout money for Greece and the approaching "fiscal cliff" in the United States.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index let go of 56.80 points to close at 12,134.66
The Canadian dollar was also under pressure, down about 18-100ths of a cent to 99.81 cents U.S.
Media and telecom company Quebecor Inc. announced a restructuring program that will see its Sun Media arm cut 500 jobs and close two production facilities as it seeks to reduce annual costs by $45 million.
Quebecor shares were up 69 cents, or nearly 2%, to $35.94 as it also posted quarterly net income of $18.6 million or 30 cents per share, down about 29% from a year ago.
Mining giant BHP Billiton is selling its diamonds business, including its stake in the Ekati diamond mine, to Harry Winston Diamond Mines Ltd. for $500 million U.S. in cash. Harry Winston shares fell 31 cents, or 2%, to $13.14.
The base metals sector declined, even as December copper shook off early losses to close unchanged at $3.47 U.S. a pound. HudBay Minerals dropped 43 cents, or 4.5% to $9.21 while Inmet Mining dropped $3.06, or 5.3%, to $54.44, as the miner denied reports suggesting the company was in talks regarding the potential sale of the company.
Britain's Daily Mail had reported speculation that First Quantum Minerals Ltd. "recently held informal takeover discussions with Inmet Mining." First Quantum shares declined 56 cents to $22.19.
The gold sector was down as Goldcorp Inc. faded 51 cents to $42.93.
Tech stocks weighed with Research In Motion Ltd. down 41 cents or 4.7% to $8.40 while CGI Group lost 42 cents to $23.61.
The energy sector lost ground as Suncor Energy shed 84 cents to $32.55.
Financials gave up ground as CIBC declined 39 cents to $78.08
The consumer staples sector advanced as shares in Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. rose $1.34, or 2.7%, to $42.46 as the pharmacy retailer saw its third-quarter net profit slip to $168 million from $172 million a year ago.
Adjusted net earnings per share amounted to 81 cents, up from 79 cents in the same year-earlier period and in line with analyst estimates. Same-store sales were up 2.3%.
Leon's Furniture Ltd. shares deducted 50 cents, or 4.2%, to $11.30 after the retailer posted $13 million of net income in the third quarter. That was a 15% decline from the same time last year as the addition of four stores last year added overhead expenses during a period of flat sales growth.
The earnings report came two days after announcing plans to acquire rival The Brick.
In the industrials sector, Canadian Pacific Railway was ahead 96 cents to $92.06
No major Canadian economic data was released Tuesday.
The TSX Venture Exchange capsized 18.57 points to 1,286.89
All but two of the 14 Toronto subgroups were lower Tuesday, weighed mostly by metals and mining, down 2.2%, while information technology and global base metals slid 1.3% each.
The two gaining groups were health-care, up 1.3%, while consumer staples inched up 0.2%.
U.S. stocks headed lower by the close Tuesday, as investors question whether lawmakers will cut a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.
The Dow Jones Industrials dumped 58.90 points to finish the session at 12,756.20
The S&P 500 staggered 5.50 points to 1,374.53, and the Nasdaq Composite Index withered 20.37 points to 2,883.89
Lawmakers are trying to strike a deal that prevents the onset of sharp spending cuts and tax increases in January. President Obama plans to meet with union leaders on Tuesday, a number of business leaders on Wednesday and then Congressional leaders on Friday.
Windows chief Steven Sinofsky, heir apparent to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, left the company late Monday. Sinofsky had been at Microsoft since 1989, trusted with overseeing many of the company's core products -- including Office and the recent Windows 8 debut.
Shares of Dow component Home Depot rose after the company beat sales and earnings forecasts. The nation's largest homebuilding supply retailer raised its guidance for the current quarter, and said it's seeing a beginning in the "healing of the housing market."
Dick's Sporting Goods beat analyst expectations on both income and revenue and raised its guidance for fourth-quarter sales. Michael Kors Holdings reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat expectations.
Meanwhile, Monster Beverage shares were up 2% after the company announced plans to repurchase up to $250 million U.S. worth of its own common stock.
Saks reported earnings in line with forecasts but fell short on revenue. The retailer lowered its sales guidance for the fourth quarter, citing disruptions from Hurricane Sandy.
Shares of TJX rose after the parent of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls reported that third-quarter sales and earnings rose.
After the bell, Cisco Systems will release its results.
Economically speaking, the Treasury Department reported a larger-than-expected deficit of $119.9 billion U.S. for October, compared with an expected shortfall of $113 billion U.S.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained ground early Tuesday, lowering yields to 1.59% from Friday's 1.61%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices surrendered 30 cents to $85.31 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices dropped $5.90 an ounce to $1,725.20 U.S.
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