Stocks rebounded on Friday from a two-day selloff, but not enough to prevent the S&P 500 from breaking a seven-week winning streak.
Shortly after noon, the S&P 500 was up 7 points or 0.5 per cent, to 1509 – still down about 10 points from the start of the week after sustaining its biggest one-day dip of the year on Wednesday. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average was up 62 points or 0.5 per cent, to 13,943. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 58 points or 0.5 per cent.
German business confidence rose to its highest level in 10 months, stirring optimism that the euro zone’s biggest economy could be on the mend. However, the upbeat survey followed a downgrade of the region’s economy for 2013: The European Commission estimates that gross domestic product will contract 0.3 per cent this year, down from an estimate in November for growth of 0.1 per cent.
Among European indexes, Germany’s DAX rose 1 per cent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.7 per cent.
Within the S&P 500, financials rose 0.9 per cent, utilities rose 0.8 per cent and technology stocks rose 0.7 per cent.
Hewlett-Packard Co. rose 9.2 per cent after beating quarterly earnings and revenue estimates.
In Canada, energy stocks rose 0.8 per cent, telecom stocks and financials rose 0.6 per cent each, but materials fell 0.3 per cent.
Research In Motion Ltd. was down 3.5 per cent at midday, near its intraday lows, after MKM Partners cut its recommendation on the stock to “sell.” Earlier this week, Canaccord Genuity slashed its sales estimate for RIM’s new BlackBerry Z10.
Among commodities, crude oil fell to $92.66 (U.S.) a barrel, down 18 cents. Gold fell to $1,574 an ounce, down $2.