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At midday: Dow, TSX rise amid Spanish bailout plans

Markets are being driven by economic events, emotion and over-reaction to central bank words and deeds. <137>Traders work as a television screen shows U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, September 13, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS)<137><137><252><137>

BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

North American stocks were higher in midday trading on Friday, putting the U.S. benchmark index on track to end the week at roughly the same level it began.

At noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 36 points or 0.3 per cent, to 13,633. The broader S&P 500 was up 4 points or 0.3 per cent, to 1,465. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 26 points or 0.2 per cent, to 12,435.

For the S&P 500, Friday's move suggests the index will have barely budged for the past five trading days – the first full week of trading since the Federal Reserve unveiled a bold round of stimulus that is designed to give the U.S. economic recovery a jolt.

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The moves also follow a report that European policy makers are set to announce plans for a Spanish financial bailout as early as next week – reducing some uncertainty surrounding the ongoing euro zone sovereign debt crisis.

Within the S&P 500, telecom stocks rose 1.3 per cent, health-care stocks rose 0.7 per cent and consumer discretionary stocks rose 0.5 per cent. With the buzz surrounding the first day of sale for Apple Inc.'s new iPhone, tech stocks rose 0.4 per cent, with Apple's share price up 0.9 per cent.

Within Canada's benchmark index, commodity producers were among the key drivers after some commodity prices rose. Crude oil traded at $93.04 (U.S.) in New York, up 62 cents. Gold traded at $1,775, up $5.

Canadian energy stocks rose 0.3 per cent and materials rose 0.4 per cent. However, financials fell 0.1 per cent.

Research In Motion Ltd., which is set to report its quarterly financial results next week, fell 6.2 per cent after it said some BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa had experienced a brief interruption to service.

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