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North American stocks were slightly above water in midday trading on Wednesday, with strong U.S. technology stocks battling it out with weak financials.

At noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 27 points or 0.3 per cent, to 10,390. The broader S&P 500 was up 3 points or 0.3 per cent, to 1,098.

Information technology stocks were the strongest components, rising 1.4 per cent after a strong quarterly earnings report from Intel Corp. on Tuesday evening lifting optimism for the entire sector. In other moves, industrials rose 0.7 per cent and materials rose 0.4 per cent.

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Financials were the worst performers, sagging 0.8 per cent ahead of the much-anticipated earnings release from JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Thursday.

In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 8 points or 0.1 per cent, to 11,681.

Materials showed the biggest gains, rising 0.6 per cent due to fertilizer producers. Financials rose 0.2 per cent and telecom services rose 0.1 per cent.

However, information technology stocks slipped 0.9 per cent, after Research In Motion Ltd. fell 1.3 per cent. Consumer staples fell 0.6 per cent. Energy stocks were relatively unchanged.

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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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