North American stocks were down in midday trading on Thursday, as European leaders begin a two-day summit to discuss the debt crisis amid economic headwinds.
At noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 127 points or 1 per cent, to 12,499.59. The broader S&P 500 was down 13 points or 1 per cent, to 1319. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 55 points or 0.5 per cent, to 11,356.
In Germany, the unemployment rate rose in June for the fourth time this year, suggesting that even Europe's strongest economy is not immune to the region's problems. While leaders are set to discuss options for alleviating many of these problems, the summit has already been defined by disagreements – with Germany rejecting the idea of issuing euro-area bonds.
European stocks ended the day lower. Germany's DAX index fell 1.3 per cent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.6 per cent.
Meanwhile, markets also seemed taken aback by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in which it upheld President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul. Health-care stocks within the S&P 500 fell 1.2 per cent.
Financials were the worst performers, falling 1.6 per cent – led by JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s 4.1 per cent slide after a New York Times article suggested that its recent derivatives-based trading loss could balloon to $9-billion (U.S.).
With Canada's benchmark index, energy stocks rose 1 per cent as declining crude oil prices were overshadowed by takeover fever. Malaysia's state-owned energy company struck a $5.5-billion deal to take over Canada's Progress Energy Resources Corp.
However, financials fell 0.8 per cent and materials fell 0.2 per cent. Gold was recently spotted at $1,555.20 an ounce, down $23.20.