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The Globe and Mail

At midday: Dow, TSX lose ground despite rising consumer confidence

A trader works at the JP Morgan trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York on July 13.


North American stocks were down in midday trading on Friday, despite an upbeat reading on U.S. consumer confidence and record-high quarterly earnings from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Shortly after noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 18 points or 0.1 per cent, to 13,308. The broader S&P 500 was down 7 points or 0.5 per cent, to 1426. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 58 points or 0.5 per cent, to 12,176.

The backdrop was relatively upbeat. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for October rose to 83.1 from 78.1 in September, topping expectations and marking a five-year high.

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U.S. producer prices rose 1.1 per cent in September, above expectations for a gain of just 0.8 per cent and raising some concerns about inflation. However, most of the increase was due to energy prices, and after stripping out food and energy items prices were unchanged last month.

In corporate earnings, JPMorgan reported a 34 per cent rise in its quarterly earnings, helped in part by a 36 per cent gain in mortgage lending revenue. Indeed, the bank's chief executive said he believed that the U.S. housing market had turned a corner. However, the shares fell 1.5 per cent.

Wells Fargo & Co. reported a 22 per cent gain in its quarterly earnings. However, revenue growth was shy of expectations, and the shares fell 3.5 per cent.

Within the S&P 500, financials were the biggest laggards, falling 1.3 per cent. Energy stocks fell 1 per cent and telecoms fell 0.7 per cent, but technology stocks rose 0.2 per cent.

Within Canada's benchmark index, materials fell 0.9 per cent, financials fell 0.4 per cent and energy stocks fell 0.3 per cent.

In Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.6 per cent and Germany's DAX index fell 0.7 per cent.

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