The benchmark S&P/TSX composite was in slightly negative territory as midday approached - down about 44 points to 13,497.4 - while U.S. markets were also slipping into the red having stayed ahead most of the morning despite warnings that the world's largest economy may already be in a mild recession. One big gainer in Toronto was MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates, whose stock was up nearly 16 per cent to $49.27 on the strength of the $1.3-billion sale of its space and satellite business to a U.S. defence contractor that it announced Tuesday. After falling sharply on Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite all managed to keep their heads above water for the first several hours of trading Wednesday. But shortly before noon, the Dow was down 14.15 points to 12,574.92, the S&P was off 1.76 to 1,388.43 and the Nasdaq was down 7.23 to 2,433.28, as recessionary concerns mounted. European equity indexes also closed down.