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At midday: S&P 500 retreats even as Apple rebounds

MICHAELA REHLE/REUTERS

North American stocks were down in midday trading on Wednesday, following earnings from key U.S. financials and another setback for Boeing Co.

The S&P 500 was down 1 point or less than 0.1 per cent, to 1471. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average was down 30 points or 0.2 per cent, to 13,504. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 47 points or 0.4 per cent, to 12,595.

In the United States, the consumer price index was unchanged in December over the previous month, while the year-over-year gain subsided to 1.7 per cent, versus an expectation for a 1.8 per cent gain from economists.

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The World Bank cut its forecast for global economic growth in 2013, to just 2.4 per cent from a June forecast of 3 per cent.

"Overall, the global economic environment remains fragile and prone to further disappointment, although the balance of risks is now less skewed to the downside than it has been in recent years," the World Bank said in its update.

Within the S&P 500, telecom stocks fell 1 pe cent, utilities fell 0.6 per cent, industrials fell 0.5 per cent and financials were flat.

Goldman Sachs Group rose 3.4 per cent after reporting that its fourth-quarter earnings tripled to $2.9-billion (U.S.). JPMorgan Chase & Co. was unchanged after reporting that its earnings rose 53 per cent

Boeing Co. fell 3.4 per cent after two Japanese airlines grounded their fleets of 787 Dreamliners, following an emergency landing by one of the new planes. The new planes have been plagued by a number of mishaps in recent weeks.

Apple Inc. rebounded 3.7 per cent from a recent selloff that took the shares to an 11-month low.

In Canada, commodity producers were the biggest drags. Energy stocks fell 0.4 per cent and materials fell 0.8 per cent. Financials fell 0.3 per cent but technology stocks rose 0.6 per cent.

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In Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.2 per cent and Germany's DAX index rose 0.2 per cent.

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About the Author
Investing Reporter

David Berman has been writing about business and investing since 1995. He has written for a number of magazines, including Canadian Business and MoneySense. He worked at the Financial Post as an investing writer and daily columnist before moving to the Globe and Mail in 2008. More

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