October 23, 2012 / 12:27 PM / 5 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower, corporate earnings weigh

Oct 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open sharply lower on Tuesday, hurt by concerns the slow global economy will continue to weigh on corporate earnings and Moody's credit downgrade of five Spanish regions.

TOP STORIES

* Spanish bond prices fell after Moody's downgraded five of the country's regions including economically important but deeply indebted Catalonia, while safe-haven German bonds gained.

* Du Pont reported a lower-than-expected third-quarter profit and said it would lay off 1,500 workers as part of a cost-cutting program designed to offset falling sales around the world.

* Apple Inc is expected to make its biggest product move since debuting the iPad two years ago, launching a smaller, cheaper tablet into a market staked out by Amazon.com Inc and Google Inc.

* 3M company reported a 6.7 percent rise in third-quarter profit, but the company cut its profit forecast for the full year as acquisition costs and a strengthening dollar hurt margins.

* United Technologies Corp reported a 3.3 percent decline in third-quarter earnings and cut its sales forecast for the year, citing weak demand from airlines and an uncertain economy.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded down 0.95 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 1 percent

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 301.90; fell 0.66 percent

* Gold futures : $1,710; fell 0.88 percent

* US crude : $87.6; fell 1.18 percent

* Brent crude : $108.95; fell 0.45 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,859.75; fell 1.17 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Canadian National Railway Co. : The rail operator posted a modest increase in quarterly profit on Monday as revenues climbed for all its business segments, and affirmed its full-year forecast despite its caution over the economy.

* TransCanada Corp. : The pipeline company said on Monday it had restarted its major oil pipeline to the central United States from Canada following a five-day outage to check for a potential defect on the line in the U.S. Midwest.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.

* Colabor Group Inc. : National Bank Financial raises price target to C$8.50 from C$8, citing the company's third-quarter results, its sustainable dividend and its action plan.

* Potash Corp. : Barclays cuts price target of U.S. listed shares to $45 from $49, says the potash market is facing significant headwinds from high inventories and weak demand.

* Agrium Inc : Barclays raises price target of U.S. listed shares to $116 from $111, on the company's successful $900 million stock buyback and a doubling of its annual dividend

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes Bank of Canada's rate decision and retail sales

* Major U.S. events and data includes FOMC meeting, Redbook retail sales and Richmond Fed manufacturing

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