Toronto stocks to rise, but U.S. jobs report eyed

Fri Feb 1, 2008 9:08am EST
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TORONTO Feb 1 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was set to kick of the month with a gain on Friday, taking a cue from technology, following positive quarterly results in Canada and a major takeover bid in the United States.

However a weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report could muffle any gains on the TSX, which is very sensitive to signs of weakness in the United States, Canada's biggest trading partner.

The early headlines were dominated by software giant Microsoft's (MSFT.O: Quote) $44.6-billion offer for Internet media firm Yahoo (YHOO.O: Quote), a blockbuster deal that lifted global stock markets and was seen doing likewise in North America. For details, see: [nN01391944]

In the Canadian tech sector, Celestica Inc (CLS.TO: Quote) could rise after the contract electronics manufacturer said its fourth-quarter loss shrank and its revenue was higher than expected. For details, see: [nN31627407]

Sierra Wireless SW.TO, meanwhile, could rise after the company's quarterly profit beat its expectations. For details, see: [nN31366893]

"We're in to a little uptrend here so the market will likely follow through," said Douglas Davis, president at Davis-Rea. "We should rise mildly today."

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE lost nearly five percent in January. Midway through the month, it dipped just below the 12,000-point threshold for the first time in more than a year as fears of a U.S. recession reached a fever pitch.

It has risen 8.4 percent in the last eight days, and finished the month with a strong rally on Thursday.

However, that momentum could be crimped by a U.S. report that showed employers unexpectedly cut 17,000 non-farm jobs in January, an alarm bell for those worried about the prospect of a U.S. recession.   Continued...