CANADA STOCKS-TSX may open lower; investors cautious on shutdown effects

Reuters

Oct 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index pointed to alower open on Thursday as investors looked beyond Washington'slast-minute debt default deal and focused on the effects of the16-day government shutdown and prospects of a re-run next year.

TOP STORIES

* The U.S. Congress on Wednesday approved an 11th-hour dealto end a partial government shutdown and pull the world'sbiggest economy back from the brink of a historic debt defaultthat could have threatened financial calamity.

* UnitedHealth Group Inc said that its third-quarter profitrose about 1 percent, helped by the enrollment of an additional275,000 people in its health insurance plans.

* Goldman Sachs Group Inc's quarterly profit fell 2 percentas weak bond-trading volumes hit revenue in the Wall Streetbank's biggest business.

* Verizon Communications Inc posted quarterly revenueslightly ahead of Wall Street expectations as it added customersto its wireless business.

* Medical products maker Baxter International Inc reported a7 percent fall in third-quarter earnings, hurt by chargesrelated to its $4 billion acquisition of Swedish dialysisproducts company Gambro AB.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures traded down 0.09 percent

* U.S. stock futures , , were mixedaround -0.35 percent to 0.05 percent

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 288.1644;was unchanged

* Gold futures : $1,307.2; rose 1.97 percent

* US crude : $101.7; fell 0.58 percent

* Brent crude : $110.05; fell 0.49 percent

* LME 3-month copper : $7,204.75; fell 0.76 percent

ANALYSTS' RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadiancompanies reported by Reuters.

* Air Canada and Westjet Airlines : BMOraises price target to C$6 from C$5; rating outperform and pricetarget to C$26 from C$23; market perform respectively as costtrends appear favorable and valuations remained inexpensive.

* Enerplus Corp : RBC raises to outperform; pricetarget to C$22 from C$20 on the company's operating momentum,relative valuation and improved capital discipline.

* SNC-Lavalin : CIBC cuts price target to C$48 fromC$50; rating sector outperformer after the company reduced netincome guidance.

ON THE CALENDAR

* Major Canadian economic data includes Canadian and foreignsecurities

* Major U.S. events and data includes initial and continuingclaims

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