The last trading day of the year looked decidedly uneventful in midday trading on Friday, with investors given little economic news to chew on.
At noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 23 points or 0.2 per cent, to 12,264. The broader S&P 500 was down 1 point or 0.1 per cent, to 1,262.
Defensive stocks showed some of the biggest gains, with telecom services up 0.4 per cent and health care stocks up 0.1 per cent.
Financials were the biggest laggards, down 0.5 per cent, while energy stocks were flat.
In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 74 points or 0.6 per cent, to 11,916.
Industrials enjoyed the biggest gains, driven in part by Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.’s 2.6 per cent gain after a report in the Globe and Mail suggested that activist investor Bill Ackman is campaigning to replace the railway’s current chief executive with Hunter Harrison.
Telecom services rose 0.9 per cent and financials rose 0.7 per cent.