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At midday: S&P 500 down slightly Add to ...

North American stocks were down in midday trading on Monday, as markets continue to struggle less than a week after the benchmark S&P 500 touched a record high.

The S&P 500 was down 3 points or 0.2 per cent, to 1550. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average was down 61 points or 0.4 per cent, to 14,504. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 10 points or 0.1 per cent, to 12,322.

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While economic news was light, the first-quarter earnings season is set to start on Monday evening after markets close, when Alcoa releases its results. The aluminum maker was unchanged in midday trading.

General Electric Co. fell 0.3 per cent after it announced a $3.3-billion (U.S.) deal to acquire Lufkin Industries Inc., allowing GE to expand it oil and gas drilling capabilities.

Within the S&P 500, consumer staples rose 0.3 per cent and consumer discretionary stocks rose 0.1 per cent. However, financials and industrials fell 0.2 per cent each.

In Canada, telecom stocks rose 0.5 per cent and energy stocks rose 0.2 per cent. However, materials and financials fell 0.3 per cent each.

In Europe, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 0.4 per cent in late afternoon trading and Germany’s DAX index was up less than 0.1 per cent.

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