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TSX Positive Midday

Equities in Canada's largest market were trading higher in afternoon trade adding to a five-day rally led by positive moves in the health-care sector.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 25.47 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 14,928.26.

Corus Entertainment Inc.'s earnings came in below estimates as its first-quarter profit fell from a year ago due to an accounting change related to its TV brand assets, but revenue edged higher due to gains in television advertising. The television, radio and production company says its profit fell to $60.4 million or 28 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Nov. 30 as amortization charges rose due to the accounting change. The result compared with a profit of $77.7 million or 38 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Aphria Inc (APHA.TO) said on Friday Chief Executive Officer Vic Neufield will step down in the coming months, at a time when the company is facing questions about its deals in Latin America and a recent slump in its shares. The company also said Vice-President Cole Cacciavillani will step down in the coming months, but did not give any indication when the transition will take place.

The Canadian dollar dropped 0.14 cents at 75.42 U.S.


The TSX Venture Exchange inched up 5.93 points to 602.86.

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were higher this afternoon, as health-care surged 4.81%, telecom rose 0.99% and Gold issues bettered themselves 0.57%.

On the downside -- Energy stocks were off 0.94%, Financials were down 0.30% and Utility issues shed 0.20%.

Gold for February delivery ticked up 0.1% to $1,288.70 a troy ounce.


Stocks traded lower on Friday afternoon as the U.S. government shutdown dragged on while worries over a possible slowdown in China also pressured stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53.18 points, or 0.5%, to 23,948.74, the S&P 500 fell 0.21%, and the Nasdaq was down 0.35%.

U.S. consumer prices slid 0.1% in December, dropping for the first time in nine months as gasoline prices fell, the Labor Department said. The consumer price index for all items was up 1.9% over the past 12 months.

Shares of Netflix Inc. rose 2.7% to $333.25 on Friday after an analyst at UBS raised his rating on the streaming giant to buy from neutral and lifted his price target to $410 from $400.

Starbucks Inc. fell 2.3% after Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the stock to "neutral," citing concerns over the pace of growth in China, where the world's biggest coffee chain has targeted a significant expansion.

Earlier Friday, a reading of December inflation, the consumer-price index slipped 0.1%, to mark the first decline in nine months, the Labor Department said on Friday. That matched the forecast of economists polled.

The 10-year Treasury note yield fell 1.4 basis points to 2.717%, while the 2-year note yield also was off 1.4 basis points to 2.551%. The 30-year bond yield was down 0.5 basis point to 3.046%. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields.

West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery edged up 32 cents, or 0.6%, at $52.91 a barrel.

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