North American stocks fell slightly soon after the start of trading on Tuesday, putting major indexes on track for five straight down days and marking the worst slump in 2012.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 23 points or 0.2 per cent, to 12,906. The broader S&P 500 fell 1 point or 0.1 per cent, to 1,381. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index fell 9 points or less than 0.1 per cent, to 12,010.
Alcoa Inc. , which kicks off the first quarter reporting season after markets close, fell 1 per cent. United Technologies Corp. fell 1 per cent and General Electric Co. fell 0.8 per cent.
Sony Corp. , which doubled the estimate for its full-year loss to $6.4-billion (U.S.), fell 7.4 per cent in New York. Best Buy Co. Inc. rose 2.3 per cent after its chief executive announced his resignation.
Among Canadian stocks, Suncor Energy Inc. rose 0.1 per cent, Research In Motion Ltd. rose 0.9 per cent and Barrick Gold Corp. rose 0.4 per cent. Financials struggled though, with Toronto-Dominion Bank down 0.2 per cent and Manulife Financial Corp. down 0.5 per cent.