U.S. stocks lost their early gains on Thursday, putting them under water in midday trading.
Shortly afternoon, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 20 points or 0.2 per cent, to 13,057 – surrendering about 100 points from its earlier high. The broader S&P 500 was down 1 points or less than 0.1 per cent, to 1408.
In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index held up better: It was up 77 points or 0.6 per cent, to 12,272.
The moves follow an upbeat reading on U.S. initial jobless claims. They fell to 369,000 for the period ended last week, from 392,000 in the previous week.
As well, durable goods orders in September rose 9.9 per cent, above expectations but merely rebounding from a 13.1 per cent decline in the previous month. After stripping out transportation, orders rose 2 per cent, which also topped expectations but failed to generate much enthusiasm from economists.
Within the S&P 500, telecom stocks fell 0.8 per cent, materials fell 0.5 per cent and financials fell 0.4 per cent.
However, Procter & Gamble rose 3.1 per cent after it reported a 6.9 per cent decline in earnings and a 4 per cent decline in revenue – but nonetheless beat expectations.
In Canada, materials rose 1.7 per cent, energy stocks rose 0.5 per cent and financials rose 0.3 per cent.
Among commodities, gold rose to $1,713 (U.S.) an ounce, up $11. Crude oil fell to $85.34 a barrel, down 39 cents.
In Europe, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was unchanged while Germany’s DAX index rose just 0.1 per cent. A report showed that the U.K.economy expanded by 1 per cent in the third quarter, but the gain was probably influenced by the short-term impact of the London Olympics.