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At noon: Financials catch a wind Add to ...

Strong gains from financial stocks supported North American stock market indexes at midday on Monday.

At noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 68 points or 0.7 per cent. The broader S&P 500 was up 10 points or 1 per cent, to 1,035.

Financials, driven in part by an upbeat report on the parts of the sector from analysts at Goldman Sachs, rose 2.4 per cent.

However, there were more elements to the markets gains, suggesting that investors haven't seen their enthusiasm for stocks blunted by two consecutive weeks of setbacks. Energy stocks rose 1.7 per cent, materials rose 1.4 per cent and consumer discretionary stocks rose 1.3 per cent

Meanwhile, defensive stocks trailed. Consumer staples fell 0.4 per cent, utilities rose just 0.2 per cent and health care stocks rose 0.3 per cent.

In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 111 points or 1 per cent, to 11,069.

Financials led the way here too, rising 1.4 per cent, and information technology stocks rose 1.3 per cent. Energy stocks rose 1.1 per cent, shaking off earlier losses even though the price of crude oil remained below $69 (U.S.) a barrel. Materials rose 0.9 per cent after the price of gold rose to $1,011 an ounce, up more than $8.

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