North American stocks rose Monday amid falling oil
prices and stronger revenue outlooks from software
makers Siebel Systems Inc. and PeopleSoft Inc.
Shares of ACE Aviation Holdings Inc., which operates
Air Canada, surged on their first day of trading,
climbing 24 per cent.
The S&P/TSX composite index rose 65.82 points or
0.75 per cent to 8,812.91, led by Nortel Networks
Corp. and Research In Motion Inc. Rising stocks
outnumbered decliners by a narrow 129 to 92.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 23.89
points or 0.23 per cent to 10,216.54 while the S&P
500 rose 3.67 points or 0.32 per cent to 1,135.17.
The tech-laden Nasdaq composite rose 10.20 points or
0.53 per cent to 1,952.40.
Lower oil prices helped set the positive tone for
the day. In New York, light, sweet crude futures —
West Texas Intermediate — for November delivery
slipped 21 cents (U.S.) or 0.40 per cent at $49.91,
helped by easing tensions in Nigeria after rebels
dropped threats to pinpoint oil facilities.
On Friday, oil closed above $50 for the first
On its first day of trading, ACE Aviation's B
class shares closed at $24.80, up $4.80 from the
stock's face price. More than 1.3 million shares
changed. The company's restricted voting shares rose
to $24.76 on trading of 2.6 million shares.
Montreal-based Air Canada emerged from 18 months of
bankruptcy protection on Thursday Sept. 30 with a
revised strategy of using new smaller regional jets
in the domestic market while expanding international
During the restructuring, the carrier pared its
debt from $12-billion to $5-billion, and achieved
$1-billion in labour savings and productivity
improvements, emerging with $1.9-billion in cash.
International Forest Products Ltd. emerged Monday
as a white knight for British Columbia's Riverside
Forest Products Ltd. in a $368-million deal that
creates the world's seventh biggest lumber company.
The bid trumps an earlier hostile offer from
Riverside's B.C. rival Tolko Industries Ltd., which
in August launched an unsolicited bid for the
company. Riverside climbed $3.55 or 10 per cent to
$38.75 while Interfor slipped 8 cents to $8.10.
PeopleSoft shares slipped 63 cents to $22.20
after earlier rising more than 12 per cent. The
company said it expects increased third-quarter net
income and revenue as new customers, an increased
average selling price and strong performance in
North America and Europe fuelled the expected
improvement over year-earlier result.
Siebel Systems said Monday that it expected to
top Wall Street's revenue estimates for the third
quarter and added that it was comfortable with
fourth-quarter Wall Street estimates.
The software maker expects revenue to be between
$315-million and $317-million for the third quarter,
topping analysts' estimates of $306-million,
according to Thomson First Call. The stock rose
$1.15 or 14.04 per cent to $9.34.
Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. gained 18 cents to
$53.31 even after the retailing behemoth said over
the weekend that September same-store sales rose 2.3
per cent, near the low end of forecasts.
“While hurricanes Frances, Ivan and Jeanne did
not significantly drag down the company's top line
for the month and back-to-school sales picked up
earlier in the month, we note that the environment
for discount retailers is still difficult,” CIBC
World Markets analyst Peter Benedict said in a
report, noting that consumers faced high oil and gas
prices during the month.
In Canada, the loonie — which jumped 1 per cent
last week — pulled back somewhat on Monday, trading
at 78.83 cents (U.S.), down from Friday's close of
“So far in 2004, the Canadian dollar has carved
out a massive U-shape, falling almost continuously
until mid-May, and then strengthening almost
continuously since then,” BMO Nesbitt Burns senior
economist Douglas Porter said.
“What has changed since May? That just happens to
be the very period that doubts over the strength of
the U.S. economy first began to arise, and when oil
prices first moved toward the $40 level.”
With files from Terry Weber