Crude oil may have broken a new record high on Tuesday - trading at $126.98 (U.S.) a barrel earlier in the day before settling back in the afternoon - but equity investors merely shrugged, leaving Canada's commodity-heavy benchmark index down for the day.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed at 14,616.70, down 49.37 points, or 0.3 per cent. Despite the rise of oil, presumably due to falling distillate inventories and noises from Iran about cutting production, most energy stocks were of no help: EnCana Corp. fell 1.5 per cent, Suncor Energy Inc. fell 0.3 per cent and Canadian Oil Sands Trust fell 1.9 per cent.
Gold fell to $865.75 an ounce, down nearly $17, which hit gold mining stocks. Barrick Gold Corp. fell 0.5 per cent and Goldcorp Inc. fell 1 per cent.
There were some bright spots though. Most noticeably, BCE Inc. rose 2.6 per cent, closing at $39.10 a share - its highest level since the start of the year and a signal that investors are growing more confident that BCE's takeover deal with private equity groups is looking more promising.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 12,832.18, down 44.13 points, or 0.3 per cent. Hewlett-Packard Co. was the big laggard, tumbling 5.5 per cent after investors gave a raspberry to its deal to acquire Electronic Data Systems Corp. for nearly $13-billion. Richard Gardner, an analyst at Citigroup, pointed out that what Hewlett-Packard has lost in market capitalization since the deal was floated is close to the total purchase price of EDS.
The broader S&P 500 closed at 1403.04, down 0.54 point or almost flat in percentage terms. Exxon Mobil Corp. was among the winners here, but rose a mere 0.6 per cent.