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At the open: Dow gains on financials, but gold weighs on TSX Add to ...

North American stocks were mixed on Thursday morning, with financials driving U.S. indexes higher but with materials weighing on Canada’s benchmark index.

The Dow rose 65 points or 0.5 per cent, to 12,216. The broader S&P 500 rose 5 points or 0.4 per cent, to 1255. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index fell 9 points or less than 0.1 per cent, to 11,719.

Among U.S. banks, Bank of America Corp. rose 1.3 per cent and JPMorgan Chase & Co. rose 1.2 per cent. In other moves, Caterpillar Inc. and Boeing Co. rose 1.1 per cent each.

Among Canadian stocks, Suncor Energy Inc. rose 0.2 per cent after the price of crude oil edged higher, approaching $100 (U.S.) a barrel. Gold stocks remained weak, though, with gold falling $31 an ounce, to $1,533 – after falling a similar amount on Wednesday. Barrick Gold Corp. fell 0.4 per cent.

The moves come as investors digest the latest round of economic news during light holiday trading. Italy conducted an auction of 10-year government bonds, which saw weak demand but lower yields. However, U.S. initial jobless claims took a step backward for the period ended last week, rising 15,000.

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