Skip to main content

A trader looks at a TV screen showing news on Italy's 5-Star Movement leader and comedian Beppe Grillo, in front of the German share price index DAX board at the German stock exchange in Frankfurt February 26, 2013.

Lisi Niesner/Reuters

North American stocks were down in midday trading on Thursday, following a global selloff inspired by weak German economic data and ongoing uncertainty in Cyprus.

The S&P 500 was down 5 points or 0.3 per cent, to 1554. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 35 points or 0.2 per cent, to 14,477. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 28 points or 0.2 per cent, to 12,799.

European stocks were also weak, with the U.K.'s FTSE 100 down 0.6 per cent and Germany's DAX index down 0.8 per cent in afternoon trading.

Story continues below advertisement

An index of Germany manufacturing activity for March slipped to 48.9, putting it in contraction territory and stirring concerns that the euro zone's largest economy is struggling. Germany's services sector also fell, with an index reading of just 51.6.

In Cyprus, lawmakers continued to struggle over arranging a bailout, after rejecting a proposal earlier this week from the euro zone and then being rejected by Russia. The European Central Bank has said that it may cut off Cypriot banks from emergency funding after Monday, if a bailout plan didn't emerge by then.

U.S. news was far more upbeat. Existing home sales in February rose 0.8 per cent, to an annualized pace of nearly 5 million. Initial jobless claims for the period ended last week rose by 2,000, to 336,000 – but the results were better than expected.

Within the S&P 500, consumer staples and telecom stocks showed slight gains. But technology stocks fell 1.1 per cent, consumer discretionary stocks fell 0.4 per cent and industrials and financials fell 0.3 per cent each.

Oracle Corp. plunged 8.2 per cent after reported disappointing quarterly results. Some analysts cut their target prices on the stock.

In Canada, materials rose 0.7 per cent and consumer staples rose 0.3 per cent. Industrials fell 0.8 per cent, financials fell 0.5 per cent and energy stocks fell 0.3 per cent.

Among key commodities, gold rose to $1,614 (U.S.) an ounce, up nearly $7. Crude oil fell to $93.30 a barrel, down 20 cents.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter