North American stocks were little changed in midday trading on Monday, even as investors weighed the latest takeover rumour about Research In Motion Ltd. and an analyst downgraded Apple Inc.
The S&P 500 was down less than 1 point, to 1551. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average was up 23 points or 0.2 per cent, to 14,420. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 14 points or 0.1 per cent, to 12,850.
The moves follow the start of European trading, when markets reacted to the downgrade of Italy by Fitch Ratings on Friday after markets closed. Fitch lowered the country’s rating one notch, to triple B-plus.
However, the bond market took this in stride: The yield on Italy’s 10-year government bond rose less than 5 basis points, to 4.635 per cent. European quity markets were also tame: Germany’s DAX index was down 0.1 per cent in afternoon trading and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 0.2 per cent.
Within the S&P 500, financials showed the biggest gains, rising 0.4 per cent. Health-care stocks rose 0.3 per cent and industrials rose 0.1 per cent. Telecom stocks fell 0.6 per cent and technology stocks fell 0.3 per cent.
Apple fell 1.1 per cent after an analyst at Credit Agricole Securities became the latest to revise expecations on the stock. The analyst subtly lowered his recommendation to “outperform” from “buy” and reduced his price target to $505 (U.S.) from $575.
In Canada’s benchmark index, technology stocks rose 2.9 per cent, energy stocks rose 0.3 per cent and financials rose 0.2 per cent. Materials fell 0.3 per cent.
Research In Motion surged 10.1 per cent, marking its biggest gain in months, after AT&T annonced that it will start taking orders for the new BlackBerry Z10 starting Tuesday. The new smart phone is already available in other markets, including Canada. As well, there is a rumour recirculating that Chinese computer maker Lenovo might be interested in making a bid for the Canadian company.
Among commodities, crude oil fell to $91.27 a barrel, down 68 cents. Gold rose to $1,580 a ounce, up about $1.