North American stocks were relatively flat soon after the start of trading on Wednesday, with strong results from technology heavyweight Oracle Corp. failing to ignite a broader rally.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 4 points, to 13,166. The broader S&P 500 fell 1 point, or less than 0.1 per cent, to 1,404. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index fell 20 points or 0.2 per cent, to 12,411.
The sluggishness comes after a weak day for stocks on Tuesday, over concerns about China’s appetite for commodities.
Oracle rose 0.9 per cent after it reported a 19 per cent gain in its fiscal third quarter earnings. Other technology stocks also showed some strength, with International Business Machines Corp. up 0.5 per cent.
However, some commodity producers continued to drag on major indexes. Alcoa Inc. fell 1.1 per cent, Chevron Corp. fell 0.9 per cent and Suncor Energy Inc. fell 0.5 per cent – even as commodity prices rebounded modestly from Tuesday’s dip.