North American stocks reduced their early morning losses but markets were still all in negative territory at noon on Friday.
The S&P/TSX was off 26.5 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 11442.60. The Down Jones industrial average shed 43.76 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 10346.12, and the S&P 500 dipped 5.85 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 1110.63.
Materials stocks rebounded as gold stocks lifted the sector, spurred by the U.S. dollar's slide against the euro and the yen. Shares of Barrick Gold rose 2 per cent.
Bank stocks continued to suffer, one day after President Barack Obama said he would clamp down on the trading activities of financial institutions.
In Toronto, Royal Bank shares were down nearly 3 per cent. In New York, shares of Goldman Sachs fell 3 per cent, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase each shed 2 per cent. American Express fell 5 per cent after providing disappointing quarterly numbers.
In Europe, where all major exchanges were down about 1 per cent, Deutsche Bank and UBS sank more than 4 per cent.
General Electric rose 3 per cent after beating expectations, McDonald's gained 1 per cent on strong growth. Google fell 3 per cent after posting solid growth that failed to meet whisper numbers on the Street.
The price of a barrel of oil decreased 99 cents to $75.09 (U.S.). Gold fell $14.80 an ounce to $1,088.40. The loonie continued its slide against the greenback, down 0.67 cents to 94.44 cents (U.S.).