North American stocks were down slightly in midday trading on Monday, one trading day after the U.S. benchmark index hit a fresh five-year high amid an improving economic outlook in the United States.
The S&P 500 was down 1 point or less than 0.1 per cent, to 1517. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average was down 18 points or 0.1 per cent, to 13,975. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 27 points or 0.2 per cent, to 12,274.
Key technology companies were being watched closely. Google Inc. fell 1 per cent after the company's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, said he will sell a 40 per cent stake of his considerably holdings in the company, valued at about $2.5-billion (U.S.).
However, Apple Inc. rose 1.8 per cent after reports suggested that the iPhone and iPad maker was working on a new tech-gadget: A smart watch. Previously, observers had been expecting Apple to announce its intention to enter the television market.
In Canada, Research In Motion Ltd. fell 2.7 per cent, continuing the choppy trading activity that has followed the launch of it much-anticipated new BlackBerry. The decline followed news that Home Depot will give its employees and managers iPhones rather than BlackBerries – a switch that involves 10,000 devices and raises ongoing concerns that the business market has begun to embrace the iPhone at the expense of the BlackBerry.
U.S. financials were relatively strong, with Bank of America Corp. up 0.9 per cent and Citigroup Inc. up 1.3 per cent.
In Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 per cent and Germany's DAX index fell 0.2 per cent.