TSX slips lower amid mixed earnings commodity prices

The Toronto stock market was lower Tuesday amid mixed earnings news and higher commodity prices.The S&P/TSX composite index was 16.74 points lower to 12,777.51 while the TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.5 points to 1,239.1.Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR) says its profit increased to $610 million in the fourth quarter with record revenue and carloads. CN also raised its dividend 15 per cent to 43 cents a share. Its shares dropped $1.19 to $93.57 despite the positive earnings report but analysts note CN stock has done very well lately.“You’re seeing some profit taking against the news as it had a big runup ahead of time,” said Colin Cieszynski, market analyst at CMC Markets Canada.“We had seen the stock move up about $4 since the beginning of the year and it’s up about $10 since the start of November. So it looks like you had some expectations getting built in.”The Canadian dollar was slightly lower, down 0.06 of a cent to 100.62 cents US amid a better than expected report on November retail sales while traders looked ahead to Wednesday’s Bank of Canada announcement on interest rates.Statistics Canada reported that retail sales rose by 0.2 per cent to $39.4 billion in November. It was the fifth consecutive monthly sales gain reported by Statistics Canada and stronger than the 0.2 per cent dip that economists had projected.The agency said that higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers as well as electronics and appliance stores more than offset declines at most store types.U.S. indexes were lower as amid a disappointing housing sector report.The Dow Jones industrial average declined 1.19 points to 13,648.51 as sales of previously occupied homes dipped in December to a pace of 4.94 million, down from 4.99 million in November. November’s figure was revised lower, but was still the highest in three years.“It wasn’t that much of a miss,” added Cieszynski. “When you go through these kind of turn-arounds, you’re going to have months where some data hits and some data misses.”The Nasdaq shed 9.4 points to 3,125.3 while the S&P 500 index slipped 2.47 points to 1,483.51.Earnings news was mixed as industrial giant The DuPont Co. said net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31 dropped to US$111 million, or 12 cents per share. That’s down from US$373 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.The results beat the consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts of seven cents per share. Sales for the quarter were flat at $7.3 billion and its shares were ahead 47 cents to US$47.46 in New York.Health care products company Johnson & Johnson posted quarterly earnings of $2.57 billion, or 91 cents a share, up from $218 million, or eight cents a share a year ago.Excluding about $800 million in one-time acquisition and litigation charges, earnings in the latest quarter would have been $3.38 billion, or $1.19 per share. That beat the expectation of analysts by two cents per share but the company’s 2013 profit forecast came up short of analyst estimates and its shares were down 70 cents to $72.53.Traders will also take in results Tuesday from Google, IBM and Celestica (TSX:CLS).The information technology sector led decliners, down 0.9 per cent with Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) off 31 cents to $17.10. The shares jumped 10.8 per cent Monday as the BlackBerry maker heads towards the unveiling of its new smartphones on Jan. 30. Scotia Capital has upgraded the stock to outperform.Celestica Inc. was down seven cents to $8.42 ahead of its earnings statement after the market close.The March copper contract in New York gave up early gains and was unchanged at US$3.68 a pound and the base metals sector was down 0.4 per cent. Sherritt International (TSX:S) dropped seven cents to $5.79.Inmet Mining Corp. (TSX:IMN) says a number of parties have expressed an interest in offering an alternative to the hostile $5.1-billion takeover proposed by First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM). Inmet says several unidentified parties are examining confidential information and discussions are ongoing. Inmet says its shareholders should reject First Quantum’s offer of about $72 per Inmet share. Inmet shares rose 27 cents to $71.21 while First Quantum edged 44 cents lower to $20.89.The energy sector was down 0.33 per cent while February crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange was up 28 cents to US$95.84 a barrel. Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ) gave back 54 cents to C$29.90.The gold sector was ahead 0.88 per cent with February bullion ahead $5.10 to US$1,692.10 an ounce. Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) rose 39 cents to C$34.53. European bourses were lower even as a closely watched survey showed an unexpectedly sharp rise in German investor confidence.The ZEW institute said Tuesday its indicator of economic sentiment rose by 24.6 points in January over the month before to an overall 31.5 points, its highest level since May 2010. Economists had predicted a more modest rise to 12 points.London’s FTSE 100 index dipped 0.05 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX fell 0.71 per cent while the Paris CAC 40 was down 0.6 per cent.