The Toronto stock market was little changed Monday morning, surrendering most early gains as profit-taking hit Research In Motion’s (TSX:RIM) share price while mining and energy stocks failed to benefit from higher commodity prices.The S&P/TSX composite index added 7.16 points to 12,823.79, while the TSX Venture Exchange was off 5.31 points at 1,221.93.The Canadian dollar sold off for a fourth session, down 0.3 of a cent to a six-month low of 99.05 cents US.The dollar has tumbled about 1 1/2 cents US since the Bank of Canada indicated Wednesday that it will be slower to raise interest rates than had been expected because of economic weakness.The dollar has been supported in recent months partly on sentiment that the central bank might hike rates later this year. Data released Friday showing low inflation in Canada at the end of 2012 further suggested that investors will have to wait longer for the central bank to move. Higher rates tend to attract investors and push up the currency.U.S. indexes lost early momentum as a disappointing housing sector report competed with a well received earnings report from heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. and data showing higher than expected durable goods orders in December.The Dow Jones industrials declined 14.23 points to 13,881.75 as the National Association of Realtors said its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales dropped 4.3 per cent to 101.7 in December. That’s still 6.9 per cent higher than it was a year ago. Sales were held back by a limited supply of available homes.The Nasdaq gained 4.37 points to 3,154.08 and the S&P 500 index was down 3.05 points to 1,499.91.Durable goods orders rose by a greater than expected 4.6 per cent in December. That was more than double the consensus forecast for a two per cent gain. The transportation sector was largely responsible for the increase, with orders in that segment up 12 per cent.Caterpillar’s fourth-quarter profit fell 55 per cent to US$697 million, or $1.04 a share. The latest quarter included a previously disclosed goodwill impairment charge of 87 cents a share.Revenue dropped seven per cent to US$16.08 billion, beating estimates of $16 billion. Ex-items earnings were $1.91 per share versus expectations of $1.69 and its shares were up 1.35 per cent to US$96.87 in New York.A stronger than expected string of U.S. fourth-quarter earnings reports has helped push markets higher in January, with the TSX gaining 0.7 per cent last week while the Dow industrials ran ahead 1.8 per cent.“The markets are probably a little ahead of themselves, capturing the relief that we didn’t have great protracted political battles in the U.S.,” said Chris King, portfolio manager at Morgan, Meighen and Associates, referring to the so-called fiscal cliff and raising the debt ceiling.“All the while, we know that the U.S. economy is improving, China is turning around. And what is most encouraging, we’re seeing fund flows back into equities like we haven’t seen going back more than a decade.”The Canadian corporate earning season kicks into gear this week with some of Canada’s biggest companies reporting.Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) and grocer Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU.A) report earnings results on Tuesday while Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (TSX:POT) and Canadian Oil Sands (TSX:COS) hand in numbers on Thursday.Elsewhere on the corporate front, Research In Motion Ltd. (TSX:RIM) unveils its new BlackBerry 10 product line in New York on Wednesday. Its stock has been on a tear lately amid optimism about the new lineup, rising 50 per cent in January and 12 per cent last week alone. However, its stock fell 77 cents, or 4.37 per cent, to $16.84 Monday morning on profit-taking.The gold sector was down 0.85 per cent as February bullion stepped back 50 cents to US$1,656.10 an ounce. Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) shed 24 cents to $32.78 while Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K) faded 28 cents to C$8.30.The mining sector also helped depress the TSX, down 0.5 per cent as March copper on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose one cent to US$3.66 a pound. Thompson Creek Metals (TSX:TCM) shed six cents to C$4.13 and Capstone Mining (TSX:CS) declined six cents to $2.43.The energy sector was off 0.16 per cent even as oil prices advanced, with the March crude contract ahead five cents to US$95.93 a barrel. Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO) lost 13 cents to C$44.95.The telecom sector gained 0.6 per cent with BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) ahead 34 cents to $44.70.Financials also supported the TSX as Royal Bank (TSX:RY) rose 46 cents to $62.56 while Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) gained 40 cents to $64.55.Economic news will also hopefully provide some direction for traders.In the U.S., the Federal Reserve wraps up its two-day meeting on interest rates Wednesday. No one expects the central bank to move on rates but traders will look for clues as to when the Fed might end its latest round of economic stimulus.Minutes from the previous Fed meeting, released Jan. 3, showed a split among members over how long to continue the stimulus, known as quantitative easing. It involves the Fed buying bonds to support the U.S. economy, a move aimed at keeping interest rates low.Some thought the program should be slowed or stopped before the end of 2013 amid concerns that the bond purchases would destabilize the economy.The key piece of data for the week comes out Friday. Economists generally expect the U.S. non-farm payrolls report to show that the economy created 153,000 jobs in January, slightly below December’s 155,000 reading.Traders will also take in the latest readings on economic growth in Canada and the U.S. during the week.European bourses were higher as London’s FTSE 100 index added 0.22 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX lost 0.24 per cent and the Paris CAC was up 0.07 per cent.

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first_imgSoccer was called to order yesterday at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in the first semi-final match between Nimba and Grand Gedeh but after a grueling 90 minutes of total football, Nimba’s Sam Jackson pulled a stunning surprise to sweep victory the hard way.And the 4-2 drubbing of rivals, Grand Gedeh propelled Nimba to the soccer finals of the 2014 edition and their opponent could be either Grand Bassa or Bong County who were deciding the winner at press time last night.Sunday’s game will be the grand final and Nimba will be in action again to decide which county becomes the undisputed champion.Interestingly, player Jackson scored his 6th goal to lead as the highest scorer so far, and with his incredible strength and skillful tricks with the ball, there seems no player even close.Though for Nimba County, celebrating the victory to the finals on Sunday began the moment improved referee Jerry Nyekeh sounded his whistle to end the game yesterday, someone said it was only the beginning.Hundreds of Nimbains chanted their appreciation to their gallant warriors who stood the threat from Grand Gedeh after they (Grand Gedeh) scored their second goal in the second half to reduce the tally 2-3.Nimba, who had resumed the second session slowly, came under intense pressure as the warriors of Grand Gedeh mounted repeated attacks. They were impressive and even radio commentators expressed the fear and hope that Grand Gedeh would call off Nimba’s bluff.But like all things human, Sam Jackson, the man of the match had different ideas.It was around the 87th minute when the rising star, who just signed a contract to play for BYC, got a connection, and hampered towards Grand Gedeh’s goal. It was like hell on earth as radio commentators cried in celebration as the striker, chased by Grand Gedeh defenders, chose to ignore them.The stadium remained apprehensive as the wonder kid challenged the poor goalkeeper in Grand Gedeh’s post. Having conceded three goals already, only God knew what Grand Gedeh’s goalie was thinking about.In the stands for Nimba County were Senators Isaac Nyenabo and Prince Y. Johnson. And no one was sure if the player had promised them a goal each. Sam Jackson made nonsense of Grand Gedeh’s defense and pushed the ball beyond the reach of the advancing goalkeeper to begin the celebration that would end this coming Sunday.That was in the 88th minute.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

first_imgIndigenous villages are now being equipped with a framework aimed at ensuring they are strategically positioned on a sustainable development path.Under the Sustainable Development Framework, villages will be required to produce a long-term (10-year) Community Development Plan (CDP), where programmatic areas will be outlined, projects and targets will be prioritised, based on the respective CDPs and an effective feedback mechanism employed.Once that aspect is completed, an annual village plan will be produced – a stipulation in the Amerindian Act of 2006 – and submitted to the Indigenous People’s Affairs Ministry and the Regional Executive Officer by May of each year so that same will be used to inform the annual national budget.When the plans are approved by the National Assembly, the Ministry will then begin processing project documentation for respective village councils for the sums approved.The Sustainable Development Agreement Framework was rolled out by the Ministry over the weekend in 27 villages in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).Meetings were held in Annai and Lethem which saw the Regional Chairman Brian Allicock and National Toshaos Council (NTC) Chairman Joel Fredericks in attendance.A section of the gathering during one of the meetings in Region NineRepresentation came from Village Councils, the NTC, Community Development Officers and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), staff from the Ministry and Conservation International Guyana (CIG).During the Lethem consultation, Project Coordinator in the Ministry, Jude Da Silva pointed to a number of challenges faced by villages in the development of their village plans and the implementation of the Framework, which will create that enabling environment to curtail such inefficiencies within the villages and put them on a continuous developmental path.“We have all the players coming together so that we can be able to put our resources in the right community for the right purpose, so rather than somebody coming in giving you what is not in the plan, then we will not be able to see much progress,” Da Silva stated.Meanwhile, CIG Executive Director, Dr David Singh, in briefing village leaders and other partners who attended the session, said: “If we focus on our sustainable development, our green economic development, our low-carbon economic development, we will, in fact, be helping ourselves not only because we will be developing sustainably, but we will be helping the world. So this whole Framework is in meeting those goals. ”Dr Singh added that the CIG remained resolute in its efforts to assist the Ministry in effectively and efficiently executing the Framework countrywide.This strategic initiative was further endorsed by Region Nine Chairman Allicock, who, in no uncertain terms, said: “This Framework that we are developing here together augurs well not only for the villages but for the entire country…We are not starting from the top and handing it down to you; we are starting from the grass-root level so these things we are working out together is for that purpose and leaders are getting a better opportunity, they are being guided.”A similar exercise will be conducted in Mainstay-Whyaka, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) shortly.NTC Chairman Fredericks, who is also Mainstay’s Toshao, has already indicated that the Sustainable Development Plan fit with the Council’s mandate for Amerindian villages, because in the past villages did projects but never in a structured way.He added, “Leaders come and leaders go and you might find that a new Toshao coming with a new plan or vision; the village can either develop or the rate of development can drop, but when you have the Sustainable Development Plan, a five or ten-year plan you can work with that and it is also good for the village because you don’t have to wait on the Ministry to finance their project, they can look to other stakeholders so I see it is something very good.”The WWF, which is also a partner in the implementation process, has already begun working with villages in the North Rupununi to develop their Community Development Plans.Notably, the Sustainable Development Framework also sets out to meet the 17 international Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted by world leaders just over a year ago to, over the next 15 years, apply to all countries.last_img

first_imgLANCASTER – As part of an effort to provide a uniform and more rigorous curriculum districtwide, Antelope Valley Union High School District freshmen will be required to take Algebra I in their first year of high school. Algebra I is considered by the state to be an eighth-grade-level class, is part of the high school exit exam, and is required to graduate from high school. “We are creating a standardized curriculum districtwide,” board member Al Beattie said. “The direction of the district is to provide a strong rigorous program that is consistent at all the schools.” The Algebra I requirement will take effect beginning next school year. A freshman Algebra I requirement has been in place on a pilot basis at Knight and Palmdale high schools for about two years, resulting in the same or better pass rate, district officials said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Now, depending on which school students attend, freshmen can enroll in a variety of math classes, including Math Concepts and a pre-algebra course, which are not as difficult as Algebra I. The high school district is not alone in grappling with helping students take Algebra I to graduate from high school. The Mojave Unified School District in 2006 will eliminate its General Math class and provide a two-year Algebra I course for struggling students. “We have to push algebra because of higher standards across the state,” Mojave Superintendent Larry Phelps said. In a memo written to Phelps, Mojave High School Principal Jim Walsh said too many students in General Math were not studying and not passing. “I have met with the math department and we feel that General Math is not serving our students as we originally felt it would. Therefore, we are proposing that Algebra I, broken down into a two-year class, replace General Math. At this slower pace, we feel the at-risk students will have a greater chance of passing Algebra I,” Walsh wrote. State education officials made Algebra I an eighth-grade standard about six years ago. In 2000, the state made it a high school graduation requirement. High school district officials said there will be extra help for freshmen who are having a hard time with algebra. “For students who struggle with math, in lieu of an elective, we will have classes that will help them with math. We are also providing sessions during the summer,” said Brent Woodard, principal on special assignment. “It’s a system of support that’s multitiered. It’s a system where kids are not going to fall behind unless they want to. We will make sure we fill in as many gaps as we possibly can.” The new algebra requirement is part of the district’s effort to offer the same course sequence at every campus. “For example, ninth-grade students would have the same options regardless of what school they go to,” said Mike Vierra, interim assistant superintendent for educational services. “We are trying to get in alignment throughout all schools in the district and really focus on how we are teaching kids in the classroom.” Part of the impetus for the restructuring is because of the district’s so-called “program improvement” status under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. In addition, Antelope Valley and Littlerock high schools are being monitored by the state, with the Antelope Valley campus potentially facing more serious sanctions because its standardized test scores failed to improve consistently. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to raise expectations,” Woodard said. “We are saying that all students will be treated in such a way where we have high expectations. What’s good for kids is good for kids, whether you are on the north, south, east or west side of town.” The high school district wants all its students engaged in a rigorous course of study that will prepare them for college or a career. “We understand not every kid is going to college, but it is a college-prep curriculum. Even if they choose not to go to college, that’s fine. We don’t want to be the ones doing the sorting and selecting. We want to prepare all kids for college,” Woodard said. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 karen.maeshiro@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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