CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher after drop to five-month low

Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:24am EDT
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April 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open higher on Thursday after sinking to a near five-month low the previous session, with some investors turning more optimistic ahead of a slew of U.S. corporate earnings.


* Morgan Stanley reported a first-quarter profit of $958 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $119 million, driven by strong growth in its institutional securities business.

* A big fall in sales of Nokia's basic phones overshadowed a stronger performance from its Lumia smartphones in the first quarter, and it said it expected operating margins to deteriorate, sending its shares tumbling.

* UnitedHealth Group Inc, the largest U.S. health insurer said that its first-quarter profit had fallen, in part because of lower U.S. government payments for its private Medicare services and prescription plans for older Americans.

* PepsiCo Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings as price increases helped margins and the company stood by its full-year forecast.

* British insurer Aviva PLC will cut as many as 2,000 jobs worldwide in the latest cost-cutting drive aimed at revitalizing its flagging fortunes, a source close to the company told Reuters.

MARKET SNAPSHOT   Continued...