North American stocks broke out of their early doldrums on Tuesday, showing decent gains in midday trading following an upbeat reading on U.S. retail sales and business inventories, not to mention surging gold prices.
At noon, the Dow Jones industrial was up 41 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 10,585. The broader S&P 500 was up 4 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 1126.
Information technology stocks led the gains, rising 1.2 per cent. Telecom services rose 0.7 per cent and consumer discretionary stocks rose 0.6 per cent.
Financials, which led the charge on Monday following the weekend agreement on new financial regulations, backtracked a little, falling 0.5 per cent.
In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 83 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 12,233.
Materials were by far the biggest winners, rising 2.3 per cent after the price of gold surged to a new record high of $1267 (U.S.) an ounce, up about $20. Telecom services rose 1 per cent and consumer discretionary stocks rose 0.8 per cent.
Financials levelled off after Monday's strong gains, rising just 0.1 per cent. Meanwhile, energy stocks fell less than 0.1 per cent after the price of crude oil retreated slightly, to $77.15 a barrel.