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At the open: Stocks nudge higher ahead of Facebook start

The Facebook profile of founder Mark Zuckerberg on a mobile phone is seen in this photo illustration taken in Lavigny May 16, 2012.

VALENTIN FLAURAUD/REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud

If stocks are set to break free from a five-day losing streak on Friday, they're not doing it with much conviction.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 3 points, to 12,446. The broader S&P 500 rose 2 points or 0.2 per cent, to 1,307. both U.S. indexes have been in a slump recently, driven largely by relatively weak U.S. economic data and fears that Greece is headed out of the euro zone. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 71 points or 0.6 per cent, to 11,401.

Facebook Inc., the stock to watch as it concludes its initial public offering, will start trading at 11 am (ET) on the Nasdaq. The social media company will start at $38, giving the company a sky-high valuation of 107-times trailing earnings. It is the biggest tech IPO in history.

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. continues to drag, falling 1.4 per cent on a report from the Wall Street Journal that its trading loss could widen to $5-billion (U.S.) from a $2-billion initial estimate. The loss had rattled U.S. bank stocks, with investors concerned that banks continue to take too many crazy risks.

In Canada, commodity producers contributed to the benchmark index's gain, after being a significant drag in trading earlier in the week. Barrick Gold Corp. rose 3.1 per cent and Suncor Energy Inc. rose 0.8 per cent after the price of gold and crude oil moved higher. Gold recently traded at $1,588.80 an ounce, up $13.90. Oil traded at $92.68 a barrel, up 12 cents.

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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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