Oct 01 2013

CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains as investors shrug off U.S. shutdown

* TSX up 36.20 points, or 0.28 percent, at 12,824.59

* Banks and energy companies lead gains, miners weigh

(Adds comment, details)

TORONTO, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was marginally higher on Tuesday as the market largely shrugged off a partial shutdown of the U.S. government, though many of the index's biggest mining stocks fell.

Investors are getting wise to Washington politics and do not expect the shutdown, which could put up to 1 million workers on unpaid leave, to last too long, said Keith Richards, portfolio manager and technical analyst at ValueTrend Wealth Management in Barrie, Ontario.

If the shutdown were prolonged, it might encourage the U.S. Federal Reserve to maintain its stimulus program for a longer period, which would also boost stocks, he said.

"If there is a longer shutdown it would slow the economy and therefore reduce the (Fed) taper talk that's been the prevalent fear out there," Richards said, adding that a looming fight over raising Washington's borrowing authority was much more dangerous. "We still have the debt ceiling nonsense coming up. That's a bigger issue than a government shutdown."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index

was up 36.20 points, or 0.28 percent, at 12,824.59 at midmorning. It had opened in the red after hitting a two-week low on Monday.

"I'm personally not getting too excited over any little rally we get today. It's too early to get too bullish on this market," Richards said.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc had the single biggest positive impact on the index, up 3.1 percent at C$110.70.

The index's heavyweight energy sector was up despite a drop in oil prices. In the group, Suncor Energy added 1.2 percent to C$37.28. The financial sector was also higher, with Royal Bank of Canada up 0.6 percent at C$66.41.

Mining companies were the main drag, with Barrick Gold

down 3 percent at C$18.60, and Goldcorp Inc off 2.4 percent at C$26.17. The price of gold fell below $1,300 per ounce to its lowest since early August on Tuesday as some investors saw the U.S. standoff as likely temporary and drove safe-haven bullion lower.

($1=$1.03 Canadian)

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter Galloway)

((alastair.sharp@reuters.com)(+1 416 941 8118)(Reuters Messaging: alastair.sharp.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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Motorcyclist arrested in gang beating after high-speed New York chase

NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters) - A New Jersey man was arrested on Tuesday and charged for his role in a high-speed chase along a Manhattan highway that ended when a motorcycle gang dragged a New York man from his vehicle and beat him while his wife and baby looked on, police said.

Christopher Cruz, 28, of Passaic, New Jersey, was charged with reckless endangerment, reckless driving, menacing and endangering the welfare of a child, said Sergeant Lee Jones of the New York City Police Department.

"The investigation is continuing with regards to other participants in this assault," Jones said.

Cruz was arrested early Tuesday after he was asked to come to the NYPD's 33rd Precinct, Jones said.

The chase and subsequent attack on Sunday were captured by a video camera attached to the helmet of one of the motorcyclists and posted online on Monday.

The video appears to show an accident involving the victim's sport utility vehicle and one of dozens of motorcycles being driven north on the Henry Hudson Parkway in upper Manhattan.

The video showed the group of bikers suddenly slowing and stopping en masse, bringing northbound traffic to a halt.

The SUV, a dark-colored Range Rover, suddenly accelerated, rolling over several motorcycles and knocking at least one rider to the ground.

The video then showed dozens of motorcyclists giving chase and catching the driver in traffic in upper Manhattan's Washington Heights.

The driver was dragged from the SUV and beaten, according Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

"He's taken out of the car," Kelly told reporters. "He's assaulted."

The victim, identified only as a resident of New York City, was treated for facial lacerations and chest wounds at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, according to a police source.

A police source said authorities believed the motorcyclists who chased the SUV were part of a large group that had planned an unauthorized gathering in New York on Sunday. This was similar to an event last year, when the riders organized online and gathered in large groups in Times Square without permission, the source said.

This year, the police source said, authorities set up a series of checkpoints at bridges and tunnels to prevent the motorcycle group from gathering in large numbers in the city.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg and Chris Francescani; Editing by Scott Malone and Lisa Von Ahn)

((chris.francescani@thomsonreuters.com)(1-646-223-8805)(Reuters Messaging: chris.francescani.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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UPDATE 1-DoubleLine flagship fund has $2.1 bln outflow in Sept

(Adds details on flows, DoubleLine performance)

NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Investors pulled $2.1 billion out of Jeffrey Gundlach's DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund

in September, the biggest-ever monthly outflow from the fund, data from investment research firm Morningstar showed on Tuesday.

As a firm, Los Angeles-based DoubleLine Capital LP had outflows of $1.7 billion from its open-end U.S. mutual funds in September, the fourth straight month of outflows, Morningstar data showed.

The outflows from the DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund came despite the fund's strong performance this year relative to its peers and reduced outflows from bond funds last month. Gundlach's fund is up 0.3 percent for the year, besting 95 percent of its peers, according to Morningstar.

U.S.-based bond mutual funds and exchange-traded funds had just $214 million in outflows in September through last Friday, down from big monthly outflows over the prior three months, according to data from research provider TrimTabs.

Beginning last May, signs that the U.S. Federal Reserve could begin scaling back its $85 billion in monthly bond-buying triggered a selloff in the bond market and sizeable withdrawals from bond funds.

Selling pressure on bonds tempered and bond fund outflows eased, however, following the Fed's Sept. 18 decision to maintain the pace of its bond-buying. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note plunged 17 basis points to 2.69 percent following the decision. As yields fall, prices rise.

Gundlach, chief executive and chief investment officer of DoubleLine, said in a company webcast on Sept. 26 that the Fed was not likely to reduce its bond-buying this year given persistently weak U.S. economic data.

"You're going to have quantitative easing continue at its current level all the way through the next Fed chairman taking over," Gundlach said. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's second term expires at the end of January.

Gundlach also said the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note could fall to 2.45 percent "in the weeks ahead."

DoubleLine Capital had $57 billion in assets as of June 30. The DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund has roughly $35 billion in assets, according to Morningstar.

(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by James Dalgleish)

((Sam.Forgione@thomsonreuters.com)(646-223-6189)(Reuters Messaging: sam.forgione.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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U.S. justices to hear case on whether severance can be taxed

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to consider whether severance pay in an involuntary layoff can be subject to federal payroll taxes in a case the Obama administration says could affect $1 billion in refund claims.

The administration asked the justices to hear the case after losing a dispute with agricultural retailer Quality Stores Inc. The company wanted a tax refund for just over $1 million in payroll taxes it paid when laying off workers.

The company sought the refund after entering bankruptcy in 2001. During that period it closed all of its almost 300 stores.

The legal question is whether the company was required to pay the taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, which helps finance federal retirement and healthcare benefits.

Both a federal judge and an appeals court said the company was not required to pay the taxes because it was ceasing operations. Therefore the payments were categorized as supplemental unemployment benefits, which are not taxable.

The appeals court, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled that both Quality Stores Inc and former employees who took part in the suit could claim a refund.

The Obama administration said in court papers that there are more than 2,400 administrative refund claims currently pending that raise the same issue.

Justice Elena Kagan will not participate in the case, most likely because she may have had some involvement in the litigation when she served as solicitor general in the Obama administration.

Oral arguments and a decision are due in the court's coming term, which starts on Oct. 7 and ends in June.

The case is United States v. Quality Stores Inc.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller and Alden Bentley)

((lawrence.hurley@thomsonreuters.com 202-898-8397)(Reuters Messaging: lawrence.hurley.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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DoubleLine flagship fund has $2.1 bln outflow in Sept. -Morningstar

NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Investors pulled $2.1 billion from Jeffrey Gundlach's DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund

in September, marking the biggest-ever outflow from the fund, Morningstar data showed Tuesday.

As a firm, the Los Angeles-based DoubleLine Capital LP had outflows of $1.7 billion from its U.S. mutual funds in September, marking the fourth straight month of outflows from the funds, Morningstar data showed.

(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by James Dalgleish)

((Sam.Forgione@thomsonreuters.com)(646-223-6189)(Reuters Messaging: sam.forgione.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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