Stocks dipped slightly on Monday, one trading day after the U.S. benchmark index hit a fresh five-year high amid an improving economic outlook in the United States.
The S&P 500 closed at 1517.01, down 0.92 point or less than 0.1 per cent. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average closed at 13,971.24, down 21.73 points or 0.2 per cent. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,748.15, down 53.08 points or 0.4 per cent.
Key technology companies were among the highlights of the day's activity. Google Inc. fell 0.4 per cent after the company's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, said he will sell a 40 per cent stake of his considerable holdings in the company, valued at about $2.5-billion (U.S.).
However, Apple Inc. rose 1 per cent after reports suggested that the iPhone and iPad maker was working on a new tech-gadget: A smart-watch that would do some of the things smart-phones now do. Previously, observers had been expecting Apple to announce its intention to enter the television market.
In Canada, Research In Motion Ltd. fell 4.5 per cent, continuing the choppy trading activity that has followed the launch of its much-anticipated new BlackBerry. The decline followed news that Home Depot will give its employees and managers iPhones rather than BlackBerries – a switch that involves 10,000 devices and raises ongoing concerns that the business market has begun to embrace the iPhone at the expense of the BlackBerry.
U.S. financials were relatively strong, with Bank of America Corp. up 0.9 per cent and Citigroup Inc. up 1.1 per cent.
Among key commodities, crude oil rose to $97.03 a barrel, up $1.31. Gold fell to $1,649.10 an ounce, down $17.80. Among Canadian commodity producers, Suncor Energy Inc. rose 0.2 per cent and Barrick Gold Corp. fell 1.2 per cent.