A decline in U.S. payrolls and factory orders last month has investors wondering how strong the recovery really is.
Stocks are down slightly in the first hour of trading after starting the day on the rise. Traders are digesting news that the jobless rate in the U.S. declined to 9.5 per cent, but that the broad economy lost 125,000 jobs last month. At the same time, the U.S. Commerce Department reported a 1.4 percent decrease in factory bookings last month, representing the biggest decline since March 2009 (following a revised 1 per cent gain in April).
Consumer good, base-metals and technology issues led the decliners in Toronto.
Some mining stocks, including Canada's biggest base-metals producer, Teck Resources, rose on news that Australia has scaled back a proposed mining tax. But gold producers declined, reacting to lower bullion prices. Barrick Gold is the most active issue in Toronto and off 4 per cent.
The S&P/TSX composite index is down 33.45 points to 11260.97.
In New York, stocks are moving in and out of positive territory. The S&P 500 is down 0.86 points at 1026.51. The Dow Jones industrial is off 15.32 points at 9717.21.
Several drug makers are bucking the trend on U.S. markets. Allergan, which sell Botox, and Biogen, which sells treatments for mutiple-sclerosis treatments, are up more than 7 per cent. Genzyme Corp., which specializes in genetic diseases is up 4 per cent.