North American stocks were up in midday trading on Wednesday, with financials looking strong but Apple Inc. suffering its worst one-day retreat in about a month.
Shortly after noon, the S&P 500 was up 5 points or 0.3 per cent, to 1412. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average was up 108 points or 0.8 per cent, to 13,059 – after a bizarre 100-point jump just before noon, likely related to optimism about budget negotiations in Washington. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 58 points or 0.5 per cent, to 12,195.
The Institute for Supply Management reported that its non-manufacturing index in November rose to 54.7, up from 54.2 in October and well ahead of economists’ expectations for a drop to 53.5.
Within the S&P 500, financials rose 1.3 per cent, energy stocks rose 1.1 per cent and industrials rose 0.9 per cent. Technology stocks fell 0.7 per cent.
Citigroup Inc. rose 5.5 per cent after saying that it would take a $1-billion (U.S.) charge in connection with the elimination of 13,000 positions.
Apple fell 4 per cent after China Mobile Ltd. said that it would carry a Nokia phone based on Windows 8, continuing to shut out Apple from China’s largest wireless carrier. Nokia shares jumped 8.2 per cent in New York.
In Canada, industrials rose 1 per cent, telecom stocks and energy stocks rose 0.7 per cent each and financials rose 0.5 per cent.
Primaris Real Estate Investment Trust rose 13.9 per cent after a consortium led by KingSett Capital made a $4.4-billion offer for it, marking the biggest-ever deal for a Canadian-listed REIT.
Among commodities, crude oil fell to $88.27 (U.S.) a barel, down 23 cents. Gold fell to $1,695, down 40 cents.
In Europe, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4 per cent and Germany’s DAX rose 0.3 per cent.