The Motley Fool

S&P/TSX Set to Open Higher on Upbeat Economic Data

Does all of this market volatility have your head buzzing? Don’t worry my friend. Equities are set for a little bit of a rally on Wednesday following some good economic data from around the world. Here are the three things you need to know before the opening bell.

1) Equity markets are set for a bounce following good economic data
Overseas, European equities were trading higher following the release of some positive economic data. According to Markit’s purchasing managers’ index, Eurozone manufacturing activity increased in January for the seventh consecutive month. However, the official reading was slightly weaker than early estimates.

There were also better numbers coming out of the much battered emerging markets. Indonesia’s economy grew by a better than expected 5.7% year-over-year during the fourth quarter. The reading southed fears about the financial strength of developing economies.

North American stock markets are set to open slightly higher on Wednesday. As of 8:00 a.m. Eastern time, futures for the S&P/TSX Composite Index (^OSPTX) were trading marginally higher before the opening bell. In United States equities were faring slightly better. Futures for the large-cap Dow Jones Industrial Average were trading up 30 points, or 0.35%.

2) Osisko lawsuit against Goldcorp gets March trial date
A trial date has been set for Osisko Mining’s (TSX:OSK) lawsuit against Goldcorp (TSX:G, NYSE:GG). Osisko claims that Goldcorp misused confidential information in its $2.6 billion hostile takeover bid of the company.

On Tuesday, Goldcorp lawyers rejected Osisko’s claims that Goldcorp misused confidential information when it made a hostile bid for Osisko, calling the miner’s lawsuit a ‘fabrication’ and just an attempt to buy time.

The trial date has been scheduled to start March 3rd. Goldcorp’s cash-and-share offer is set to expire on February 19th. So the trial ensures that it will need to be extended.

3) Lots of good earning reports
Investors are also digesting a handful of solid earning reports.

TMX Group (TSX:X), the owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange, reported fourth-quarter earnings grew 27% to $41.4 million, $0.77 per share, handily beating analysts’ estimates. The company credited most of the improvement to higher trading activity from lower financing costs.

WestJet Airlines (TSX:WJA) fourth-quarter earnings also beat most analyst expectations thanks to strong air traffic. The airline reported a quarterly profit of $60.9-million, or $0.46 per share, significantly higher than the $35.6 million it earned during the same time last year. Westjet also announced an increase to its quarterly dividend 25% and pledged to buy back up to 5% of its outstanding shares.

Foolish bottom line
There a few key pieces of economic data on tap today. Investors will get a preview of Friday’s jobs report with ADP’s monthly figures on private-sector employment at 8:15 a.m. Eastern time. Traders will also be watching the U.S. January ISM Non-Manufacturing activity report closely.

Just Released! 5 Stocks Under $49 (FREE REPORT)

Motley Fool Canada's market-beating team has just released a brand-new FREE report revealing 5 "dirt cheap" stocks that you can buy today for under $49 a share.
Our team thinks these 5 stocks are critically undervalued, but more importantly, could potentially make Canadian investors who act quickly a fortune.
Don't miss out! Simply click the link below to grab your free copy and discover all 5 of these stocks now.

Claim your FREE 5-stock report now!

Fool Contributor Robert Baillieul has no positions in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss an important event.

Iain Butler and the Stock Advisor Canada team only publish their new “buy alerts” twice a month, and only to an exclusively small group.

This is your chance to get in early on what could prove to be very special investment advice.

Enter your email address below to get started now, and join the other thousands of Canadians who have already signed up for their chance to get the market-beating advice from Stock Advisor Canada.

I consent to receiving information from The Motley Fool via email, direct mail, and occasional special offer phone calls. I understand I can unsubscribe from these updates at any time. Please read the Privacy Statement and Terms of Service for more information.