TORONTO - The Toronto stock market moved sharply higher Friday, as gains in the gold sector were more than enough to offset a 26 per cent decline in BlackBerry stock after the smartphone maker surprised traders with a quarterly loss and disappointing revenue.
BlackBerry shares (TSX:BB) tumbled $3.97 to $11.08 after saying that it lost US$84 million in the first quarter when the smartphone maker launched its latest Z10 touchscreen model.
On an adjusted basis, BlackBerry had a loss of $67 million or 13 cents per share. Analysts had expected an adjusted profit of six cents per share.
Besides the unexpected loss and disappointing revenue, analysts were uphappy with a lack of specific sales figures for BlackBerry's new smartphones.
"They're still not telling people how well they're doing," said Sadiq Adatia, chief investment officer at Sun Life Global Investment.
"We had seen a lot of negativity on BlackBerry before they initially announced the new product and the product itself is actually pretty good. (But) I think people are nervous because obviously BlackBerry has not done well on the execution side and so now they’re back to that stage of, 'I don't trust them.'"
The Canadian dollar fell 0.39 of a cent to 95.08 cents US even as Statistics Canada reported that gross domestic product grew by 0.1 per cent, which was in line with expectations.
U.S. indexes largely turned lower late in the session after three days of strong gains that reflected an atmosphere of calm that seemed to have settled on markets during this week.
The Dow Jones industrials moved 114.89 points lower to 14,909.6, the Nasdaq gained 1.39 points to 3,403.25 and the S
There was positive consumer news as the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment dipped to 84.1 in June from 84.5 the previous month. But that was still relatively high as May’s reading was the highest since July 2007.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Business Barometer sank to 51.6 from a 14-month high of 58.7 in May. That was well below the level of 55 that economists were expecting.
Markets sold off after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke had indicated last week that the central bank could start winding up one of its signature stimulus programs, the purchase of US$85 billion worth of bonds every month with the aim of keeping long-term rates low.
Spooking traders was a spike in bond yields with the benchmark 10-year Treasury surging from 2.25 per cent before Bernanke's comments to as high as around 2.6 per cent. But yields backed off Thursday after three Fed officials said markets are unrealistic in their anticipation of rate hikes down the road.
On Friday afternoon, the 10-year bond yielded 2.5 per cent, up from 2.47 per cent Thursday.
The TSX managed a gain of 133 points or 1.11 per cent this week but the main Toronto index is still down 2.45 per cent year to date. The Dow industrials rose 110 points or 0.74 per cent this week and is still ahead 13.77 per cent for the year.
Commodity prices were mixed and the beaten up gold sector was the biggest percentage advancer, up about eight per cent while the August bullion contract on the Nymex erased early losses to move up $12.10 to US$1,223.70 an ounce. Continued speculation about when the Federal Reserve may ease up on its monthly bond purchases has pushed bullion prices to three-year lows.
Gold prices have deteriorated steadily this year as the precious metal loses its appeal as a hedge against inflation and deteriorating currencies. Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) was ahead $1.03 to C$16.60 while Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) ran up $2.27 to $26.12. The TSX gold sector is down almost 50 per cent so far this year and over 17 per cent this month alone.
The telecom sector was up two per cent with BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) up $1.16 to $43.12 after the federal broadcast regulator approved bid by its Bell subsidiary to acquire Astral Media (TSX:ACM.A) and its suite of TV speciality channels and radio stations in a deal worth $3.4 billion.
September copper was unchanged at US$3.06 a pound and the base metals sector also moved up two per cent. First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) gained 35 cents to $15.60.
The consumer discretionary sector rose 1.5 per cent as Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B) said its overall quarterly net income edged up to $250 million from $248 million a year ago, although earnings per share dropped a penny to 52 cents. Revenue was up four per cent to $1.33 billion. Shaw also said it has been able to minimize flood-related disruptions to its infrastructure in Alberta and is on track to generate more free cash than previously expected in the current financial year. Its shares jumped $1.30 or 5.43 per cent to $25.24.
The energy sector was up 0.4 per cent with the August crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange down 49 cents to US$96.56 a barrel. Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) climbed 16 cents to $31.