Stockhouse @ the Bell: Stocks rally on manufacturing, Facebook (FB) optimism

Stockhouse Editorial
0 Comments| February 20, 2014

Today in the markets
U.S. stocks rose Thursday after a survey by Markit showed that manufacturing in the U.S. expanded at the fastest pace in almost four years in February.

Canadian stocks ran up smartly as investors weighed mixed manufacturing data and concentrated on well-received earnings from Canadian corporate heavyweights, including grocer Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX: T.L, Stock Forum) and coffee chain Tim Hortons Inc. (TSX: T.THI, Stock Forum).

The S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 90.64 points to 14,201.37, while the TSX Venture Exchange edged up 9.05 points to close at 1,014.93.

Active stocks included Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB, Stock Forum). The stock rose 2.3% to $69.63 after the world's biggest social network, announced a US$19- billion purchase of the popular messaging service WhatsApp late Wednesday.

Wes Mills, chief investment officer Scotia Private Client Group, said the Facebook deal was another example of increased merger and acquisition activity, a very positive sign for markets.

In Canada, Blackberry (TSX: T.BB, Stock Forum) gained 4% to $10.41 as the Facebook deal raised optimism that there is value in the smartphone maker's messaging service.

TransCanada Corp. (TSX: T.TRP, Stock Forum) said Thursday that its quarterly net income was $420 million or 59 cents per share, missing estimates by a penny. It also raised its quarterly dividend by four per cent to 48 cents a share and its shares declined 2.1% to $48.83.

The pipeline company's Keystone XL project suffered a major setback in a Nebraska court Wednesday as a judge overturned a state law that could have forced landowners to allow the pipeline through their property.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX: T.L, Stock Forum) advanced 4.7% to $44.29. Tim Hortons Inc. (TSX: T.THI, Stock Forum) gained 1.8% to close at $58.98.

For news about small stocks that made big moves in Thursday’s trading, please read the
Stockhouse Canadian Small and Micro-cap Stock Report


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