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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening of the markets on July 3, 2013. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening of the markets on July 3, 2013. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

At the open: Stocks flat as U.S. earnings season heats up Add to ...

The Toronto stock market was flat on Tuesday as commodities strengthened and several major U.S. companies reported their earnings.

The S&P/TSX composite index lost 0.79 of a point to 12,529.56 shortly after open.

The Canadian dollar was up 0.05 of a cent 96.07 cents US.

Shares of Barrick Gold lifted 1.7 per cent after a Chilean appeals court ruled against the world’s largest gold mining company on Monday. The court ruled in favour of Chilean Indians who accuse Barrick of contaminating their water downstream and creating more doubts about the future of the world’s highest gold mine. Shares of the company gained 26 cents to $15.95.

August bullion rose $5.80 to $1,289.30 an ounce while the TSX gold sector rose 1.1 per cent.

Oil is also up with the August contract on the Nymex ahead 64 cents to $106.96 a barrel, as the energy sector fell 0.3 per cent.

On Wall Street, the Dow edged up 9.79 points to 15,474.09, the Nasdaq composite index was 2.98 points higher to 3,603.06 while the S&P 500 index rose one point to 1,681.19.

North American stock markets are likely to hold back from any major shifts before the testimony from U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday.

The U.S. Labor Department reported a tame inflation rate with the consumer price index rising 0.5 per cent in June from May. Two-thirds of the increase came from a 6.3 per cent jump in gas prices, the largest since February.

A day after Citigroup easily topped Wall Street expectations, Goldman Sachs did the same on Tuesday. The global investment and securities firm doubled its quarterly profits for the second quarter, and it posted revenue of $8.61-billion.

Coca-Cola is reporting declining profits and weak volume growth for the quarter, while other major names like Johnson & Johnson, CSX and Yahoo are also reporting earnings Tuesday.

Overseas, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 0.2 per cent at 6,573 while Germany’s DAX fell 0.5 per cent at 8,195. The CAC-40 in France was 0.6 per cent lower at 3,855.

Earlier in Asia, South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.5 per cent to 1,866.36 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat at 21,312.38. China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3 per cent to 2,065.72.

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