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Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange on April 22, 2013. North American stocks were relatively unchanged in midday trading. (Seth Wenig/AP)
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange on April 22, 2013. North American stocks were relatively unchanged in midday trading. (Seth Wenig/AP)

At midday: Stocks flat, though gold continues rebound Add to ...

North American stocks were relatively unchanged in midday trading on Monday, following upward moves by commodity producers but a disappointing reading on U.S. existing home sales last month.

The S&P 500 was up nearly 2 points or 0.1 per cent, to 1,557. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average was down 36 points or 0.3 per cent, to 14,512. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 3 points or about zero per cent, to 12,063.

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The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales fell 0.4 per cent in March, month-over-month, to 4.92 million at an annual rate. That missed expectations for a 0.4 per cent gain and was down from a 0.6 per cent raise last month.

Among key commodities, gold jumped to $1,422 (U.S.) an ounce or $26, marking its fifth consecutive gain. Bullion recently slipped into a bear market and last Monday sustained its worst one-day drop in 30 years, but has been rebounding since then.

Crude oil prices were relatively stable, at $88 a barrel, down 1 cent.

Within the TSX, commodity producers were the best-performers. Energy stocks rose 0.5 per cent and materials rose 0.4 per cent. However, industrials fell 0.8 per cent and financials fell 0.4 per cent.

Within the S&P 500, energy stocks rose 0.6 per cent and technology stocks rose 0.5 per cent. However, industrials fell 0.5 per cent and financials fell 0.3 per cent.

Apple Inc. rose 1.6 per cent, ahead of the release of its quarterly earnings on Tuesday. According to Bloomberg News, analysts expect the company’s earnings will shrink for the first time in a decade.

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