Stocks traded mixed Wednesday as oil climbed to a
record highs after the U.S. Department of Energy
said crude inventories rose less than expected last
week and household heating oil costs will rise 28
per cent over last year's levels.
Shares of Open
Text Corp. plunged as much as 20 per cent in Toronto
after the software maker warned for the second time
in five weeks. Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. rallied
13 per cent after the company said it has signed
Howard Stern to a five-year agreement.
Delphi Corp. also weighed on the U.S. market
after the world's biggest car parts maker said its
third-quarter loss will be wider than expected.
Energy stocks rose on both sides of the border.
The S&P/TSX composite index gained 20.75 points
or 0.24 per cent to 8,817.80 with gains by
financials such as Bank of Nova Scotia and Royal
Bank of Canada and energy stocks outweighing Open
Text's decline. Some 105 stocks rose while 106
declined on the benchmark index.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose less than a
point to 10,178.35 and the S&P 500 index added 1.39
points to 1,135.87. The Nasdaq composite index fell
3.87 points to 1,951.63.
In New York, crude prices were up 58 cents to
$51.67 (U.S.) after earlier rising to a record high
$51.80 and yesterday closing above $51 for the first
time ever. The Department of Energy said crude
stockpiles rose 1.1 million barrels for the week
ended Sept. 24, short of the 2.75 million-barrel
gain expected by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg
“It seems that any news that gives even a hint of
there being a risk to future supply adds a few more
pennies to the price,” BMO Nesbitt Burns senior
economist David Watt said. “The most recent hot spot
remains Nigeria, where a strike is planned for this
Sunday at midnight.”
Distillate stocks, which include heating oil,
fell 2.1 million barrels, more than the
900,000-barrel decline expected.
“Average residential natural gas prices are
expected to be 11 per cent higher than they were
last winter, and household expenditures are expected
to be 15 per cent higher,” the Department of
Energy's Energy Information Agency said. “Heating
oil prices are expected to average 29 per cent
higher compared with last winter and household
expenditures are expected to be 28 per cent higher.”
Supply fears have gripped the market in the wake
of Hurricane Ivan, which damaged U.S. oil holdings
in the Gulf of Mexico, prompting a temporary
shutdown in production.
Petro-Canada climbed 2.6 per cent, Imperial Oil
rose 1.74 per cent and Suncor Energy advanced 1.4
per cent. The S&P/TSX energy index rose 2 points to
a record 194.92.
Open Text shares tumbled $5.05 or 20 per cent to
$20.35 in Toronto, while its U.S.-traded shares fell
$4 (U.S.) to $16.05 on Nasdaq. Prior to the warning,
the stock was up 3 per cent so far this year.
After the close of trading Tuesday, Waterloo,
Ont.-based company said it expects a first-quarter
loss between 1 and 4 cents a share. On an adjusted
basis, earnings will come in between 3 and 6 cents a
share while sales will range from $84-million and
$86-million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call
were expecting earnings of 11 cents on sales of
On August 31, Open Text forecast an adjusted
profit of 7 to 12 cents a share on revenue of
$87-million to $93-million for the quarter ended
September 30. Those forecasts were below analysts'
average expectations. At the time, Open Text
attributed the weaker outlook to seasonality at its
Delphi shares dropped 38 cents or 4 per cent to
$8.93 (U.S.) after the company announced after the
bell Tuesday that it now expects to report a pro
forma net loss of $65-million to $72-million in the
third quarter, compared to prior guidance for a loss
of $20-million to a gain of $10-million. Revenue for
the quarter is expected to come in at $6.65-billion,
topping the consensus estimate for $6.59-billion.
Sirius shares rose 52 cents to $3.87 after radio
host Howard Stern said he will begin broadcasting on
Sirius Satellite Radio on Jan. 1.Sirius, which
delivers commercial-free music and sports
programming, negotiated the five-year,
“multi-million dollar” agreement with Don Buchwald,
who represents Mr. Stern.
Elsewhere, economists on both sides of the border
continue tapping their toes waiting for the release
Friday of September employment figures on both sides
of the border.
Ahead of those key numbers, Canadian markets will
get a look at August building permit figures, which
are expected to have risen 2.5 per cent after July's
11.4-per-cent decline. The report is due ahead of
the opening bell.
The Canadian dollar, meanwhile, was holding back
above 79 cents (U.S.), trading at 79.12 cents, down
slightly from Tuesday's closing price of 79.27