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At the open: TSX climbs amid solid CPR earnings

Canadian Pacific Rail workers stand on a locomotive at the company's Port Coquitlam yard east of Vancouver, B.C., in this file photo.

DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Toronto stock market was slightly lower as investors consolidated a strong gain and took in a solid earnings report from Canadian Pacific Railway.

The S&P/TSX composite index slipped 7.37 points to 15,218.97 after positive Chinese economic growth data pushed the TSX up 145 points to a record high.

The Canadian dollar up 0.01 of a cent to 93.10 cents (U.S.).

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U.S. indexes were lower with the Dow Jones industrials down 20.3 points to 17,117.9 after the blue chip index also hit a fresh record high Wednesday.

The Nasdaq rose 4.1 points to 4,421.87 while the S&P 500 index was ahead 3.48 points to 1,978.09.

Canadian Pacific posted second quarter net income of $371-million, or $2.11 per diluted share, up 48 per cent from a year ago and beating estimates by a penny. Revenues were ahead 12 per cent to $1.68-billion while the key operating ratio was 65.1 per cent, a 680 basis point improvement and its shares ran up $5.02 to $202.85.

In the U.S., Morgan Stanley said earnings rose 47 per cent to $1.9-billion (U.S.), or 94 cents a share. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 91 cents, compared with a FactSet consensus estimate of 55 cents. Revenue totalled $8.6-billion, compared to $8.52-billion, in the year-ago quarter, and $8.5-billion on an adjusted basis. The FactSet consensus was for revenue of $8.22-billion and the bank's shares inched up 12 cents to $32.62.

It was a much different story at toymaker Mattel. Its shares tumbled 5.2 per cent to $37 after the company reported a profit of $28.3-million, or eight cents a share, down from $73.3-million, or 21 cents, a year earlier. Net sales fell 9.1 per cent to $1.06-billion, weighed down by sluggish sales of its iconic Barbie brand.

In other corporate developments, Microsoft plans to eliminate up to 18,000 jobs over the next year as it works on integrating the Nokia devices business it bought in April. Microsoft anticipates charges of $1.1-billion to $1.6-billion over the next four quarters. Its stock gained three per cent to $45.39.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. says Galen Weston will become president of the retailer as part of broader changes that shake up its management structure. The move has Weston replacing Vicente Trius effective immediately. Weston was formerly executive chairman of the company, which is a longtime family business and a subsidiary of George Weston Ltd. Loblaw posts financial results on July 24. Its shares were up a nickel to $49.33 (Canadian).

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The metals and mining sector weighed, down 0.45 per cent with September copper in New York unchanged at $3.20 (U.S.) a pound.

The energy sector was the biggest advancer, up 0.35 per cent as oil prices continued to benefit from data released Wednesday showing a much larger than expected drawdown of U.S. inventories last week. The August contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was up $1.64 to $102.84 a barrel.

The gold sector moved up 0.25 per cent while August bullion climbed $5.40 to $1,305.20 an ounce.

Markets were also cautious after President Barack Obama announced broader sanctions against Russia, targeting two major energy firms, a pair of powerful financial institutions, eight weapons firms and four individuals. The increased U.S. economic pressure is designed to end the insurgency in eastern Ukraine that is widely believed to be backed by the Kremlin.

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