TORONTO, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index may open lower on softer commodity prices, while company results and forecasts may also sway investor sentiment on Thursday.
An earnings outlook from retail giant Wal-Mart WMT.N, already weighing on U.S. stock index futures, may add pressure to investor sentiment as the warning cast doubt about the strength of the consumer spending in an economic recovery.
Some of the Canada's biggest companies in the energy and telecoms sectors also posted quarterly results before the market open.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished slightly higher on Wednesday in a quiet session marked by an early jump to a three-week high that eroded as the day progressed. The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 13.01 points, or 0.11 percent, at 11,439.75.
Here is some of the news that may affect the market:
EnCana Corp ECA.TO, Canada's largest natural gas producer, reported a 99 percent drop in third-quarter profit as oil and gas prices sank. The company, which is preparing to split itself into separate gas and oil producing companies, said it plans to invest between $3.6 billion and $3.9 billion in capital and targets natural gas production growth of about 10 percent next year. [ID:nBNG165791]
BCE Inc BCE.TO, Canada's biggest phone company, posted a jump in quarterly profit that topped analyst expectations as subscribers flocked to new mobile phones and services despite a weak economy. [ID:nN12404622]
Wal-Mart Stores Inc reported a higher quarterly profit as the world's biggest retailer clamped down on inventory and controlled expenses, but forecast earnings for the current period that could miss current Wall Street estimates. [ID:nN12404234]
COMMODITY PRICES: OIL FALLS, GOLD RETREATS
U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 fell ahead of an expected hike in crude stocks in the Energy Information Administration's weekly report, while gold edged off the record high it hit early on Thursday as the U.S. dollar recovered from lows. [O/R] [GOL/]
* See also: Barrick chief says sell off in gold possible-FT [ID:nSP461163]
Industrial equipment supplier Toromont Industries Ltd TIH.TO said it intends to proceed with a formal bid to acquire Enerflex Systems Income Fund EFX_u.TO, after talks for a deal collapsed. [ID:nWNAB4954]
* See also: DEALTALK-Trusts, pension plans to figure in Canada M&A [ID:nN11326437]
COMPANY RESULTS IN BRIEF
* Lab Research Inc Q3 loss widens [ID:nBNG284776]
* Denison Mines Corp posts Q3 loss on impairment charge [ID:nBNG460276]
* FNX Mining Co posts wider Q3 loss [ID:nBNG253392]
* Sino-Forest Corp posts higher Q3 profit [ID:nBNG508641]
RESEARCH ROUNDUP: PRIMARIS REIT
Raymond James raised Primaris Retail REIT PMZ_u.TO to "outperform" from "market perform," citing the stock's attractive valuation, while Genuity Capital Markets, RBC, and Blackmont raised their price target on the real estate investment trust. [ID:nBNG5508]
Other research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters on Thursday. [RCH/CA]
* UBS raises Franco Nevada FNV.TO, Pan American Silver PAA.TO to buy, raises price targets on 16 miners
* Desjardins, Genuity cut Shoppers Drug Mart SC.TO price target
* RBC, Macquarie raise price targets on Allied Properties AP_u.TO
($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)