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Traders John Panin, left, and Michael Smyth work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday, June 4, 2012. The Dow Jones industrial average opened at its lowest level since December after a 275-point sell-off on Friday caused by grim economic signals, especially a dismal report on the U.S. labor market. (Richard Drew/AP)
Traders John Panin, left, and Michael Smyth work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday, June 4, 2012. The Dow Jones industrial average opened at its lowest level since December after a 275-point sell-off on Friday caused by grim economic signals, especially a dismal report on the U.S. labor market. (Richard Drew/AP)

The close: Dow, TSX pare losses Add to ...

Stocks recovered a lot of lost ground on Monday afternoon, ending the day mixed as investors weighed cheap-looking stocks against another disappointing economic report from the United States.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 12,101.46, down 17.11 points or 0.1 per cent, after recovering about 65 points from its low point earlier in the day. The broader S&P 500 closed at 1,278.18, up 0.14 points or zero per cent, ending a three-day losing streak. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 11,335.77, down 25.43 points or 0.2 per cent, rebounding from a triple-digit decline earlier.

Near the start of the day, investors reacted glumly to disappointing report on U.S. factory orders in April: They fell 0.6 per cent, versus expectations among economists for a gain of 0.2 per cent. That followed Friday’s payrolls bombshell, when the Labor Department reported sharply slowing job gains in May, which sent the Dow tumbling about 275 points.

Some key economically sensitive stocks were the day’s biggest laggards in the U.S. market: JPMorgan Chase & Co. fell 2.9 per cent and General Electric Co. fell 2.1 per cent. However, cyclical stocks also showed some of the biggest gains, perhaps underlining some of the confusion in the market right now: Home Depot Inc. rose 1.7 per cent and Alcoa Inc. rose 1.1 per cent.

In Canada, commodity stocks helped lift the benchmark index from earlier lows. Suncor Energy Inc. rose 0.9 per cent and Barrick Gold Corp. rose 0.3 per cent. Among commodities, crude oil rose to $83.98 (U.S.) a barrel, up 75 cents. However, gold fell to $1,613.90 an ounce, down $8.20.

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