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The screens at the TMX Broadcast Centre in Toronto are pictured on on Wednesday, July 11, 2012. (Matthew Sherwood For The Globe and Mail)
The screens at the TMX Broadcast Centre in Toronto are pictured on on Wednesday, July 11, 2012. (Matthew Sherwood For The Globe and Mail)

At midday: TSX struggles as Canadian energy stocks decline Add to ...

Stocks meandered lower in midday trading on Monday in a broad decline that put the benchmark U.S. index on track for a third straight loss.

Shortly after noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 25 points or 0.2 per cent, to 13,318. The broader S&P 500 was down 3 points or 0.2 per cent, to 1430. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 33 points or 0.3 per cent, to 12,383.

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Energy stocks were by far the biggest laggards within the TSX after Ottawa killed a takeover deal of Progress Energy Corp. by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas, raising broader concerns about the Canadian government’s views toward foreign-backed takeovers. The energy subindex within the TSX fell 1.2 per cent.

Progress fell 10.4 per cent, which is a milder decline than some observers had been fearing.

It didn’t help that crude oil prices also declined. In New York, oil fell to $89.50 (U.S.) a barrel, down 55 cents.

Within the S&P 500, technology stocks rose 0.4 per cent – marking the only gains among the 10 subindexes. Investors appeared to make little distinction between economically sensitive stocks and defensive stocks: Utilities fell 0.6 per cent while energy stocks, telecoms and industrials fell 0.5 per cent each.

Caterpillar Inc. rose 1.2 per cent after reporting a 49 per cent rise in its third-quarter earnings, but lowering its full-year outlook because of the slowing global economy.

In Europe, major indexes closed lower. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 fell 0.2 per cent and Germany’s DAX index fell 0.7 per cent.

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