CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open higher; Fed expected to continue stimulus

Oct 28 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open higher on Monday as expectations the Federal Reserve would continue with its loose monetary policy this week buoyed investor sentiment.


* Merck & Co Inc reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings, helped by cost cutting, but sales of its Januvia diabetes treatment fell, raising more concerns about growth prospects for the company’s biggest product.

* Loews Corp posted a 59 percent jump in third-quarter profit as the hotel, energy and financial services conglomerate took a smaller impairment charge in its HighMount Exploration & Production unit.

* Biogen Idec reported $286 million in third-quarter sales of its high-profile new multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera, providing fresh evidence that the medicine is off to an impressive launch and exceeding expectations.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co has agreed to pay $5.1 billion to settle claims that it and firms it bought misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about the quality of mortgage securities and home loans it sold to them during the housing boom.

* Cable television network AMC Networks Inc said it agreed to buy Chellomedia, the international content unit of Liberty Global Inc, for about $1.04 billion.


* Canada stock futures traded up 0.1 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.09 percent to 0.29 percent

* European shares, were down


* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 282.3883; fell 0.26 percent

* Gold futures : $1,352.4; was unchanged 0 percent

* US crude : $97.79; fell 0.06 percent

* Brent crude : $107.59; rose 0.62 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,194.75; rose 0.14 percent


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

* Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd : CIBC raises rating to sector outperformer from sector performer as the company delivered cost improvements across its operations the in third quarter, achieving substantially better costs than previously assumed.

* Altagas Ltd : CIBC raises price target to C$41 from C$39.50 after the company announced it will increase its ownership of Petrogas Energy Corp from 25 percent to 33 percent.

* Capital Power Corp : National Bank Financial raises to outperform from sector perform following the company’s better-than-expected third-quarter results.

* Postmedia Network Canada Corp : Canaccord Genuity cuts rating to sell from hold as the company’s fourth-quarter results were below expectations.


* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for the day

* Major U.S. events and data includes industrial output, capital utilization, manufacturing output and pending home sales