Canadian stocks rose on Monday, driven by a surge in Research In Motion Ltd., with U.S. markets closed for the Martin Luther King holiday.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,794.25, up 68.56 points or 0.5 per cent.
RIM led the gains, rising 10.8 per cent after the company's chief executive reiterated in a German publication that the BlackBerry maker was considering strategic options that included the sale of its hardware production and the licensing of its software – adding to hopes that the company's upcoming BlackBerry 10 will give RIM new life.
The move was reminiscent of trading activity on U.S. Thanksgiving Day, when RIM jumped 18 per cent on the TSX while the Nasdaq – where RIM trades in the U.S. – was closed. Back then, the rally was linked to National Bank Financial raising its sales estimates for the BlackBerry 10, due to be launched later this month.
The stock has risen 185 per cent since September. On Friday alone, it jumped 7 per cent after Peter Misek, an influential analyst with Jefferies & Co., upgraded the stock to a "buy" and raised his price target to $19.50 (U.S.) from $13. He said RIM has a better near-term shot with its new BlackBerry 10 phones than most people realize.
Elsewhere, Rona Inc. rose 3.1 per cent after the home retailer replaced its chairman and shook up other positions on its board of directors, falling into line with concerns from its two major shareholders. Last year, Rona rejected a takeover offer from U.S.-based Lowe's Cos. Inc. for $1.8-billion, following poor performance at the Canadian company.
Meanwhile, investigators looking for the source of problems that have grounded the global fleet of Boeing 787s after a number of onboard mishaps on the new planes are looking at the Japanese company that made the jets' batteries, GS Yuasa Corp.