Despite early warnings of a sharp stock market decline in futures activity, North American stocks looked relatively healthy at the start of trading on Monday.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell just 28 points or 0.2 per cent, to 13,010. The broader S&P 500 actually rose -- though less than 1 point, to 1,370. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index fell 64 points or 0.5 per cent, to 11,807.
The moves follow election results in France and Greece over the weekend, which showed a strong reaction to recent austerity moves. In particular, the rejection of French President Nicolas Sarkozy has raised concerns that France might move away from budget cutbacks and a close political relationship with Germany.
However, U.S. financials seem okay with the results. Bank of America Corp. rose 1.8 per cent and JPMorgan Chase & Co. rose 0.9 per cent. Blue chip techology stocks were weak though, with IBM down 0.7 per cent and Microsoft Corp. down 1.1 per cent.
In Canada, energy stocks were again weak, after Friday's sharp drop in the price of crude oil took the U.S. benchmark below $100 (U.S.) a barrel. Suncor Energy Inc. fell 1.3 per cent.
There was hardly stock market carnage in Europe, either. France's CAC 40 rebounded into positive territory, while Germany's DAX index was down just 0.6 per cent in afternoon trading.