U.S. stock market indexes hovered near their starting positions on Friday, even after an upbeat report suggested that manufacturing activity was making a comeback in April.
At noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 13 points or 0.2 per cent, to 8155. The broader S&P 500 was down less than one point or about 0.1 per cent, to 872.
Cyclical areas of the market, which had been performing well lately as investors bet that the U.S. economy was bottoming out, were among the laggards on Friday. Consumer discretionary stocks were down 1.2 per cent, financials were down 1.1 per cent and information technology stocks were down 0.4 per cent.
Defensive areas of the market were mixed though: Utilities rose 1 per cent but health care stocks were down 0.5 per cent and consumer staples were down 0.2 per cent.
In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 136 points or 1.5 per cent, to 9460. There, energy stocks were among the favourites, rising 3.2 per cent after the price of crude oil shot up to $53.33 (U.S.) a barrel, up $2.21.
As well, information technology stocks rose 3.2 per cent, industrials rose 2.1 per cent and materials rose 2.1 per cent. Financials were the weakest group, falling 0.2 per cent.