Stocks were mixed on Monday, with commodities driving Canada’s benchmark index higher but major U.S. indexes ending the day relatively unchanged.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 12,708.82, down 11.66 points or 0.1 per cent. The broader S&P 500 closed at 1316, up 0.62 point. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,521.70, up 124.60 points or 1 per cent.
Canadian gains came despite a sharp drop in the price of Research In Motion Ltd. The shares slumped 9.1 per cent after the BlackBerry maker’s co-chief executives stepped down from their positions. While some investors have been clamouring for a management shift at the top of the company, the new chief executive, Thorsten Heins, might have disappointed expectations for big changes when he said that, well, there was no need for drastic changes.
Meanwhile, the price of crude oil rose to $99.58 (U.S.) a barrel, up $1.25, after the European Union agreed to impose an embargo on Iranian oil shipments, starting in July. Suncor Energy Inc. rose 1.1 per cent and Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. rose 1.8 per cent.
Natural gas producers were also strong, after Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced that it would cut its output by 8 per cent and also slow drilling activity in response to tumbling natural gas prices. Chesapeake rose 6.3 per cent and EnCana Corp. rose 7.4 per cent.
In other moves, financials moved higher, with Bank of America Corp. rising 2.6 per cent and bringing its year-to-date gains to more than 30 per cent.
The backdrop in Europe was mixed though: Yields on Italian and Spanish 10-year government bonds retreated, suggesting lower borrowing costs; but the head of the International Monetary Fund warned that Europe faces a “1930s moment” and a “downward spiral” unless policy makers respond with a bigger emergency bailout fund.