U.S. stocks managed to pull into positive territory on Wednesday, stretching the recent rally to four days even as Canadian stocks sagged under the weight of declining commodity producers.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 13,175.64, up 7.04 points. The broader S&P 500 closed at 1402.22, up 0.87 point or less than 0.1 per cent. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 11,781.04, down 82.46 points or 0.7 per cent.
The moves follow the latest twist in speculation about what the U.S. Federal Reserve is likely to do to help the U.S. economy. Richard Fisher, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said that the U.S. Federal Reserve is already providing adequate economic stimulus. His thoughts came after Fed official Eric Rosengren said on Tuesday that the Fed should provide an “open ended” stimulus program.
BCE Inc. rose 2.4 per cent after it raised its outlook and its dividend.
However, Suncor Energy Inc. fell 1.6 per cent and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. fell 1.4 per cent after the price of crude oil retreated to $93.35 (U.S.) a barrel, down 32 cents.
As well, Barrick Gold Corp. fell 1.1 per cent, even though the price of gold nudged up to $1,616 an ounce, a gain of $3.20.
Among U.S. stocks, Hewlett-Packard Co. rose 2.4 per cent after the technology company raised its third quarter earnings forecast.
Dean Foods Co. surged 40.6 per cent after its WhiteWave unit filed papers to raise $300-million in an initial public offering.
McDonald’s Corp. fell 1.7 per cent after it reported unchanged global sales in July, missing expectations for a gain.