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TORONTO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index is expected to edge higher on Wednesday as commodity prices advanced.
But investors will also look at the employment picture in the United States after two reports showing further job losses there, as well as uncertainty about the massive U.S. economic stimulus package.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE had a largely directionless session on Tuesday, which saw the index trade in a 123-point range from trough to peak. But it managed to eke out a small gain to end a three-session losing streak.
Here is some of the news that may affect the market.
Oil rose to over $41 a barrel despite expectations that weekly U.S. data, due at 10:30 a.m. (1530 GMT), would show a build in crude stockpiles as demand for energy in the world's biggest oil consumer declines. [ID:nSP363085]
Gold steadied above $900 an ounce, recovering from earlier losses. [ID:nL4431043]
Canadian securities regulators have reached a potential settlement with the top two executives of Research In Motion RIM.TO following an investigation into a stock option accounting controversy dating back to 1996. [ID:nN03549717]
A unit of European financial services giant ING Groep NV ING.AS is selling a C$1.75 billion chunk of its ownership stake in ING Canada IIC.TO, the companies said on Tuesday.
* U.S. planned layoffs in January hit 7-year high [ID:nNYS004792]
* January ADP national employment report shows U.S. private sector job losses slowed and were slightly less than expected [ID:nWEN3811]
* Later this week, there are also key employment reports for January from both Canada and the United States. The pair are expected to show job losses and a higher unemployment rate.
Canada's Parliament voted overwhelmingly to back the federal budget on Tuesday, ensuring the survival of the minority Conservative government. Legislators voted 211 to 91 to approve the budget, which contains tens of billions of dollars in stimulus measures. [ID:nN03532556]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters. For more, please see [RCH/CA]
* Genuity cuts Canadian Tire CTC.TO price target to C$50 from C$60
* Genuity, National Bank Financial cut Bell Aliant Regional Communications BA_u.TO price target
$1=$1.24 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson