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At noon: Dow, TSX hold on to gains Add to ...

A less-than-expected slide in U.S. existing home sales and leading economic indicators, along with a strong round of second quarter earnings results, kept North American stocks higher in midday trading on Thursday.

At noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 196 points or 1.9 per cent, to 10,316. The broader S&P 500 was up 22 points or 2.1 per cent, to 1092.

Cyclical stocks led the charge, even though all 10 subindexes within the S&P 500 were up. Industrials rose 2.9 per cent, materials rose 2.6 per cent and consumer discretionary stocks and financials rose 2.5 per cent each.

Defensive stocks lagged. Health care stocks rose just 0.8 per cent, consumer staples rose 1 per cent and utilities rose 1.6 per cent.

In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 126 points or 1.1 per cent, to 11,639.

Materials, information technology stocks and industrials rose more than 1.7 per cent each. Energy stocks rose 1.1 per cent and financials rose 0.7 per cent. Health care was the only declining subindex, falling 1.1 per cent, while consumer staples were flat.

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