Oct 29 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index looked set to open flat to slightly lower on Tuesday ahead of a two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting, with markets widely expecting the U.S. central bank will continue with its monetary stimulus program.
* Pfizer Inc reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings, helped by costs cuts and growing sales of recently approved cancer medicines.
* The cost of cleaning up the banking industry dominated third-quarter results from Deutsche Bank and UBS, as unexpected hits for potential legal costs overshadowed their day-to-day performance.
* BP Plc kicked off the results season for top global oil firms with forecast-beating profits and a dose of what the industry’s investors want - a dividend hike, plans for asset sales, and a promise to keep a lid on spending.
* Apple Inc’s profit and margins slid despite selling 33.8 million iPhones in its September quarter, and greater China revenue climbed just 6 percent even though two smartphone models hit store shelves in its second-largest market last month.
* Thomson Reuters Corp said net sales in its Financial & Risk division turned positive for the first time since 2011.MARKET SNAPSHOT
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.09 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.02 percent to 0.11 percent
* European shares, were up COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 281.4128; fell 0.36 percent
* Gold futures : $1,359.7; rose 0.57 percent
* US crude : $98; fell 0.69 percent
* Brent crude : $108.82; fell 0.72 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,219.5; rose 0.41 percent CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Barrick Gold Corp : Workers at the miner’s suspended Pascua-Lama gold mine will vote by Wednesday on whether to strike, which they say could delay construction of a water management system crucial for the project to be re-activated, the union said on Monday.
* Sears Canada : The retailer will close its flagship downtown Toronto store and four other locations in a C$400 million ($383 million) deal.
* Agnico Eagle Mines : The gold miner is considering selling a minority stake in its Meliadine gold project in the Canadian sub Arctic, according to two sources familiar with the situation.
* TransCanada Corp : U.S. officials weighing the climate impact of the proposed TransCanada’s Keystone XL oil pipeline connecting Canada to U.S. Gulf Coast refiners are zeroing in on the question of whether shipment by rail is a viable alternative to the controversial project, industry sources say. ANALYSTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Agellan Commercial Real Investment Trust : CIBC starts with sector performer rating and target price of C$10 on valuation
* B2Gold Corp : CIBC raises price target to C$3.50 from C$3 after the company announced it intends to acquire Volta Resources Inc in an all-share transaction
* Parkland Fuel Corp : CIBC raises price target to C$21.50 from C$19.75 based on the company’s risk-adjusted return and compelling dividend yield ON THE CALENDAR
* Major Canadian economic data includes PPI and raw materials prices
* Major U.S. events and data includes PPI, retail sales, consumer confidence, Dallas Fed services and business inventories