Newspaper article The Canadian Press

TSX Closes Flat amid U.S. Government Shutdown Worries, Huge BlackBerry Loss

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

TSX Closes Flat amid U.S. Government Shutdown Worries, Huge BlackBerry Loss

Article excerpt

TSX flat, BlackBerry posts big loss


TORONTO - The Toronto stock market closed flat on Friday, capping a session where traders opted for caution going into the weekend amid the possibility of a U.S. government shutdown early next week.

The S&P/TSX composite index inched up 2.46 points to 12,844.08 as BlackBerry turned in a huge quarterly loss and dismal sales figures.

BlackBerry lost US$965 million in the second quarter as revenue plunged 49 per cent from the previous quarter and 45 per cent from a year earlier to US$1.6 billion, amid very poor sales of its new smartphones. However, the results were in line with company estimates issued last week when BlackBerry announced 4,500 jobs would be cut from its global workforce.

BlackBerry shares (TSX:BB) (Nasdaq:BBRY) gained six cents to $8.28 on the Toronto Stock Exchange while in the U.S., BlackBerry shares added eight cents to US$8.03 on the Nasdaq market.

The Canadian dollar turned higher amid rising commodity prices, up 0.1 of a cent at 97.06 cents US.

There was skepticism that Congress can pass a funding bill to keep the U.S. government operating after Oct. 1, when its new fiscal year starts. Also, the U.S. borrowing limit needs to be raised before Oct. 17.

But Republicans want to tie the moves to defunding the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, and slash spending.

"They can't afford to mess around on this," said Wes Mills, chief investment officer at Scotia Asset Management PM Advisor Services.

"They're digging in their heels because they're tying the Obamacare passage to the debt ceiling. And ultimately, if they push too hard on that, it's going to rattle markets big time."

Shortly before the close, President Barack Obama said the threat of a shutdown is probably already having a negative effect on the economy.

U.S. indexes were negative as investors digested a report showing higher consumer spending and income growth in August -- and other data showing slowing consumer confidence in the United States. …

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