CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges higher on consumer issues, RIM

Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:02pm EDT
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   * TSX up 21.10 points, or 0.17 percent, at 12,684.68
 * RIM rises 6.2 pct, Rogers tumbles 7.7 pct
 * Investors cautious as earnings flood in -- analyst
 (Adds details, quotes, official figures)
 By Cameron French
 TORONTO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
ended slightly higher on Tuesday on the back of consumer and
tech issues, but the gains were muted as cautious investors
waited for more concrete signs of earnings growth.
 With heavyweight financial and energy sectors recording
only small gains, large individual stocks helped drive the
 Research In Motion RIM.TO surged 6.2 percent to C$56.17
after the BlackBerry maker demonstrated its PlayBook tablet
computer at a conference in California. That pushed the TSX
information technology sector up 0.69 percent.
 Counterbalancing that was a sharp drop in shares of Rogers
Communications RCIb.TO, which fell 7.7 percent to C$38.13
after the cable-TV and telecom company posted a 24 percent drop
in profit. [ID:nSGE69P0G6].
 Some profit-taking on Rogers likely contributed to the
stock's fall, following its recent sharp gains, said Barry
Schwartz, vice-president and portfolio manager at Baskin
Financial Services.
 "The telcos have been one of the best performing sectors in
2010," he said.
 All told, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the
session up 21.10 points, or 0.17 percent, at 12,684.68, as
eight of ten subgroups pushed higher.
 After rising nearly 10 percent from late August, the index
has largely traded sideways over the past two weeks.
 With third-quarter earnings season just getting under way,
investors want to see signs of sustained corporate
profitability before they decide whether to pile back in, said
Elvis Picardo, an analyst and strategist at Global Securities
in Vancouver.
 "The earnings that have come out so far have been pretty
decent, but I think we need to see some more momentum before we
can push the market higher," he said.
 Tuesday's strongest group was consumer staples, which is
normally considered a defensive sector, but may be gaining due
to its modest performance this year compared with other
industry groups, said Picardo. The group rose 1.26 percent.
 Dairy products company Saputo Inc SAP.TO led the sector
with a 2.8 percent gain, to close at C$38.00, while grocer
Empire Co. EMPa.TO climbed 2.5 percent to C$58.70.
  ($1=$1.02 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson)