April 3, 2009 / 2:44 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX little changed, but RIM shares jump

* TSX down 0.12 percent at 9,062.66,

* RIM shares soar after results, forecast tops view (Adds details, quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, April 3 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was little changed on Friday morning as a surge in Research In Motion RIM.TO shares was cooled off by worry over U.S. job numbers and by lower gold and oil prices.

RIM was the biggest contributor to the upside, shooting 19 percent higher to C$72.55, and helping to send the index’s information technology group up 5.9 percent.

On Thursday, the company surprised investors with a strong profit report and a rosy outlook for its smartphones despite the grim economy. Many analysts raised their earnings estimates and stock targets for RIM to reflect its growth and margin recovery. [ID:nN03324019]

“The numbers weren’t just slightly ahead of expectations it was a real blowout quarter,” said Rick Meslin, head of Canadian equities at UBS.

At 10:34 a.m. (1434 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 10.48 points, or 0.12 percent, at 9,062.66, with seven of its 10 main sectors lower.

Data on Friday showed growing distress in the U.S. labor market, with U.S. employers slashing 663,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate rising to 8.5 percent, the highest level since 1983.

The U.S. Labor Department also revised January data to show job losses of 741,000 that month, the biggest decline since October 1949. [ID:nN02368781]

“I think it’s a reminder we can not be 100 percent convinced that we’re completely out of trouble,” said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.

In fact, the jobs figures proved to be more of a “psychology event more than a data event”, said Meslin, noting the market may very well have rallied if the number was worse.

“Everyone knows that employment losses tend to really accelerate at the end of a recession,” he said.

Financials dropped 0.8 percent, weighed down by Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), which fell 3.6 percent to C$16.10.

Materials dropped 1.6 percent as bullion prices pulled back, helping to knock Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) lower by 1.9 percent to C$39.25.

Oil and gas stocks fell 0.6 percent as price of oil fell to under $52 a barrel as the U.S. jobs report weighed. [ID:nSP398385] EnCana ECA.TO sagged 0.2 percent to C$55.02.

$1=$1.24 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway

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