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At the open: Dow, TSX see slight gains Add to ...

North American stocks nudged slightly higher at the start of trading on Friday, with several strong earnings reports weighing against a disappointing reading on U.S. economic growth in the first quarter.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 11 points or 0.1 per cent, to 13,216. The broader S&P 500 rose less than 1 point, to 1,400. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 26 points or 0.2 per cent, to 12,172.

U.S. gross domestic product rose 2.2 per cent at an annualized pace in the first quarter, slower growth than the 2.5 per cent rise that economists had been expecting. However, some observers noted that a significant cut in defense spending was largely to blame, while domestic demand picked up.

Meanwhile, the latest round of quarterly reports tended to boost stocks. Amazon.com Inc. surged 14.6 per cent after its revenues jumped 34 per cent. Merck & Co. Inc. rose 0.6 per cent after its net earnings rose 67 per cent.

In Canada, Suncor Energy Inc. fell 0.4 per cent and Royal Bank of Canada fell 0.1 per cent, but Barrick Gold Corp. rose 0.7 per cent.

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