North American stocks were down in midday trading on Monday as major indexes returned to choppy action following an impressive rally last week.
Shortly after noon, the S&P 500 was down 8 points or 0.5 per cent, to 1402. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average was down 82 points or 0.6 per cent, to 12,928. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 40 points or 0.3 per cent, to 12,173 – threatening its six-day winning streak.
Stocks have been volatile in recent weeks as investors digest the third-quarter earnings season, the looming U.S. fiscal cliff and uncertainty about whether Greece can get its next round of financial aid from the euro zone. The S&P 500 had fallen as much as 8 per cent from mid-September, but then rallied 3.6 per cent last week for its biggest weekly gain of 2012.
Within the S&P 500 on Monday, telecom stocks fell 1.2 per cent, energy stocks fell 1.1 per cent and financials and consumer staples fell 0.9 per cent each.
Within Canada’s benchmark index, materials were the biggest laggards, falling 1 per cent. Industrials and energy stocks fell 0.4 per cent each and financials fell 0.1 per cent.
In Europe, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 fell 0.6 per cent and Germany’s DAX index fell 0.2 per cent.
Among commodities, crude oil fell to $87.65 (U.S.) a barrel, down 63 cents. Gold fell to $1,749 an ounce, down $2.10.