CANADA STOCKS-TSX looks set to open little changed, U.S. jobs data in focus

Reuters

May 2(Reuters) - Canadian stocks looked set for a slightly higher to flat opening on Friday, with all eyes on the U.S. monthly job numbers.

June futures on the S&P TSX index were up 0.04 percent at 0715 ET.

The index edged higher on Thursday as gains in Manulife Financial Corp and Catamaran Corp helped to offset a decline in shares of Bombardier Inc after those companies reported results.

U.S. hiring is expected to have increased at its quickest pace in five months in April, which would bolster hopes of a strong rebound in economic activity in the second quarter.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.02 percent at 0715 ET, while S&P 500 futures were up 0.07 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.10 percent.

(Morning News Call newsletter http://link.reuters.com/nex49s; The Day Ahead newsletter http://link.reuters.com/mex49s)

TOP STORIES

Torstar Corp said it would sell romance novel business Harlequin Enterprises Ltd to News Corp for C$455 million ($415 million).

Berkshire Hathaway Inc's energy unit said it would buy AltaLink, Alberta's largest electricity transmission company, from SNC-Lavalin Group Inc for about $2.9 billion in cash.

Fairfax Financial Holdings, the property and casualty insurer run by investment guru Prem Watsa, said first-quarter profit more than quadrupled due to strong investment gains and improved underwriting results.

COMMODITIES AT 0715 ET

Gold futures : $1,283.1; 0.0 pct

US crude : $99.83; +0.41 pct

Brent crude : $108.37; +0.57 pct

LME 3-month copper : $6,671; +0.40 pct

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Gran Tierra : Goldman Sachs starts with neutral rating

Penn West : National Bank Financial ups rating to sector perform

Stella-Jones : National Bank Financial cuts rating to sector perform from outperform

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON FRIDAY

0830 Non-Farm Payrolls for April: Expected +210,000 prior +192,000

0830 Private Payrolls for April: Expected +210,000 prior +192,000

0830 Manufacturing Payrolls for April: Expected +8,000 prior -1,000

0830 Unemployment Rate for April: Expected +6.6 pct prior +6.7 pct

0830 Average Earnings mm for April: Expected +0.2 pct prior 0.0 pct

0830 Average Workweek hrs for April: Expected 34.5 hrs prior 34.5 hrs

0945 ISM-New York Index for Apr: prior 627.1

1000 Durables Ex-Def, R mm for Mar: Prior +1.8 pct

1000 Durable Goods, R mm for Mar: Prior +2.6 pct

1000 Factory Orders mm for Mar: Expected +1.4 pct prior +1.6 pct

1000 Durables Ex-Transpt R mm for March: Prior +2.0 pct

1000 Nondef Cap Ex-Air R mm for March: Prior +2.2 pct

1000 Nondef Cap Ex-Air R mm for March: Prior +2.2 pct

1000 Factory Ex-Transp mm for March: Prior +0.7 pct

1030 ECRI Weekly Index: Prior 134.6

1030 ECRI Weekly Annualized: Prior +4.1 pct

FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES:

TSX market report

Canadian dollar and bonds report

Reuters global stocks poll for Canada

Canadian markets directory

($1= $1.10 Canadian) (Reporting by Mononshila Deka in Banagalore; Editing by Ted Kerr)

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