August 16 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Friday, tracking commodity markets, with continued focus on whether the Federal Reserve will taper its stimulus program as soon as next month.
* The euro zone’s trade surplus widened in June from a year earlier and from the previous month as imports continued to fall, the EU’s statistics office Eurostat said.
* Dell Inc, the PC maker embroiled in a takeover battle between its founding CEO and activist investor Carl Icahn, reported a 72 percent slide in quarterly earnings as PC sales fell further.
* Chip gear maker Applied Materials said it expects foundry customers to hold back spending in the current quarter as they switch to making smaller chips.
* World shares headed for their biggest weekly fall in almost two months as investors set aside evidence of a broad global economic recovery and worried about an early end to the Federal Reserve’s stimulus.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.21 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.19 percent to 0.26 percent
* European shares, were down COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 293.1273; rose 0.04 percent
* Gold futures : $1,366.8; rose 0.38 percent
* US crude : $107.54; rose 0.2 percent
* Brent crude : $109.99; rose 0.36 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,370.5; rose 0.84 percent ANALYSTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Fortress Paper Ltd : RBC cuts rating to underperform from sector perform, says the company faces risks from potentially crippling anti-dumping duties that may be imposed by China
* NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT : RBC cuts target price to C$13 from C$14 following the company’s second-quarter results that were much in line with expectations
* Rocky Mountain Dealerships Inc : CIBC cuts rating to sector performer from sector outperformer, expect that the transition to Tier-4 regulated engine equipment is going to lower customers’ demand for new equipment and will negatively impact the company’s sales ON THE CALENDAR
* Major Canadian economic data includes Canadian and foreign securities and manufacturing sales
* Major U.S. events and data includes housing starts, building permits, Reuters/UMich sentiment and ECRI weekly