Stocks pared their losses in midday trading on Friday, as the third quarter winds down and investors digest reports on rising European inflation and slumping U.S. incomes.
At noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 27 points or 0.2 per cent, to 11,127 – a significant recovery after falling below the 11,000-point threshold in early trading. The broader S&P 500 was down 7 points or 0.7 per cent, to 1153.
Despite the improvements, investors continued to favour defensive stocks over economically sensitive names. Health-care stocks rose 0.2 per cent and consumer staples rose 0.1 per cent. Meanwhile, financials were the worst performers, falling 1.5 per cent, while industrials and materials fell more than 1 per cent each.
In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 8 points or 0.1 per cent, to 11,678.
Materials rose 1.4 per cent on the strength of gold producers. Defensive consumer staples rose 0.5 per cent and telecom services rose 0.3 per cent.
Information technology stocks and energy stocks fell 0.8 per cent each, while industrials fell 0.7 per cent and financials fell 0.4 per cent.