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At midday: Stocks slump again Add to ...

North American stocks on Wednesday resumed the selloff that had hammered major indexes on Monday, following disappointing earnings and market turbulence in Europe.

In midday trading, the S&P 500 was down 25 points or 1.6 per cent, to 1549. The move erased the modest rebound on Tuesday. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average was down 152 points or 1 per cent, to 14,605. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 160 points or 1.3 per cent, to 11,959.

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The moves followed a disappointing quarterly earnings report from Bank of America Corp. The financial firm reported earnings of $2.6-billion (U.S.) or 20 cents a share in the first quarter, but disappointing mortgage banking and trading meant that earnings missed expectations of 22 cents a share. Bank of America’s share price slid 5.9 per cent.

Apple Inc. fell 5.7 per cent, hitting a new 52-week low, after reports that its audio chip supplier believes the iPhone maker will miss its sales forecast.

However, the declines were broad. Within the S&P 500, all 10 subindexes were down. Energy stocks fell 2.2 per cent, while technology stocks and financials fell 2.1 per cent each. Economically defensive stocks did better, but consumer staples, health care and utilities fell about 0.8 per cent teach.

In Canada, energy stocks fell 1.8 per cent, industrials fell 1.6 per cent, financials fell 1.2 per cent and materials fell 1.1 per cent.

Despite the dip by commodity producers, gold held relatively steady. It was last seen at $1,388 an once, up about $1. Crude oil, though, was weak: It fell to $87.19 a barrel, down $1.53. New York copper futures were down more than 3 per cent.

In Europe, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 fell 1 per cent and Germany’s DAX index fell 2.3 per cent.

Follow on Twitter: @dberman_ROB

 
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