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Trading in New York, Aug. 22 2011. (Spencer Platt/Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Trading in New York, Aug. 22 2011. (Spencer Platt/Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

At the open: Dow, TSX show modest gains Add to ...

North American stocks rose modestly at the start of trading, after investors reacted to better-than-expected readings on manufacturing activity in Europe and China.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 34 points or 0.3 per cent, to 10,889. The broader S&P 500 rose 4 points or 0.4 per cent, to 1128. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 2 points, to 12,070.

The Bank of Montreal rose 1 per cent after it reported fiscal third quarter profits of $793-million or $1.27 a share, up from $1.13 last year, beating expectations when the earnings were adjusted for one-time factors. Other banks were mixed, with Royal Bank of Canada dipping slightly and Bank of Nova Scotia rising.

Energy stocks were strong after the price of crude oil rose to $85.68 (U.S.) a barrel, up $1.26, after China reported better-than-expected manufacturing activity, as represented by the purchasing managers index, for August. European manufacturing activity was also better than expected. Suncor Energy Inc. rose 0.4 per cent and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. rose 2.1 per cent.

However, gold producers fell after gold retreated slightly, to $1,880 an ounce, down about $12. Barrick Gold Corp. fell 1.5 per cent.

Among U.S. stocks, Verizon Communications Inc. rose 1.3 per cent, while Microsoft Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. rose 1.1 per cent each. Banks remained weak, with Bank of America Corp. down 4.7 per cent and JPMorgan Chase & Co. down 1.3 per cent.

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