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At the open: Early stock gains evaporate Add to ...

The Toronto stock market has turned slightly negative after initially opening higher, with major U.S. stock indexes also near unchanged.

At 1020 ET, the S&P/TSX index was down 10 points, or about 0.1 per cent, the S&P 500 was up 2 points, or 0.2 per cent, and the Dow Jones industrial average was down about 10 points, or less than 0.1 per cent.

The day started on a positive footing, with the TSX buoyed by mining and metals stocks and the implications of better manufacturing data in the United States.

The monthly U.S. manufacturing survey from the Institute for Supply Management on Monday pointed to an improvement. Its main index rose sharply to above 50, a reading that signals growth. The index had been below 50 from June through August.

Overnight markets had received a boost by a Reuters report suggesting Spain was preparing to seek a sovereign bailout from the euro zone. However. Germany was apparently pressing back against those plans.

"Despite the better-than-expected ISM manufacturing survey yesterday, there remain some doubts about longer-term growth prospects for international stocks," Richard Hastings, a macro strategist at Global Hunter Securities, was quoted by Marketwatch as saying. "We would not be surprised to see a few days like this scattered into the rally as traders get ready for Q3 results and for FY 2013 indicators."

In morning economic news, a measure of U.S. home prices jumped 4.6 per cent in August compared to a year ago, the largest year-over-year increase in more than six years.

Meanwhile, General Motors Co. reported a 1.5 per cent increase in September auto sales on the strength of its passenger car sales, while Ford Motor Co posted sales that were on par with its results from a year earlier.Chrysler Group showed a 12 per cent jump in sales to 142,041, marking its best September since 2007.

With files from The Canadian Press and Reuters


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