CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed, propped up by US earnings

Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:47pm EDT
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* TSX down 8.85 points, or 0.08 percent, at 11,663.99

* Four of 10 sectors higher (Recasts with gain, adds details, commentary)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, July 14 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was little changed early on Wednesday afternoon as disappointing U.S. retail sales figures were balanced by rallying oil prices and better than expected U.S. corporate earnings.

U.S. crude oil futures turned positive and rose $1 to almost $78, lifted by a government report showing crude oil stocks fell much more than forecast last week.

Suncor Energy SU.TO was off 0.6 at C$32.99, but Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO gained 0.2 percent to C$36.93.

Supporting the outlook for the economy were robust quarterly results posted by Intel Corp INTC.O, which sent positive signals across the cyclical technology industry and prompted at least four brokerages to raise their share-price targets for the world's largest chipmaker. [ID:nSGE66D0G3]

"Intel had its best quarter ever and that's in your face to people who are predicting a double-dip (recession) and Intel's third-quarter outlook is just as strong," said Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

"What drives the economy is business spending ... the trickle-down is we're going to start to see unemployment come down in the U.S. significantly and then you can apply that to all the commodities as things are not as bad as what the doom and gloomers are telling us."   Continued...