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Canadian stocks remained underwater at midday on Tuesday, even as their U.S. counterparts were on track to post their first gains after back-to-back losses.

At noon, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 72 points or 0.6 per cent, to 11,163.

Industrials fell 1.6 per cent after investors were disappointed with the third quarter results from Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. Information technology stocks were also down 1.6 per cent, while financials fell 1.2 per cent.

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Among commodities producers, materials fell 0.7 per cent, with the price of gold down slightly. However, energy stocks rose 0.7 per cent after the price of crude oil moved up toward $80 (U.S.) a barrel.

Meanwhile, telecom services stocks rose 1.7 per cent after investors celebrated the better-than-expected quarterly earnings from Rogers Communications Inc.

In the United States, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 61 points or 0.6 per cent, to 9929. The broader S&P 500 was up 2 points or 0.2 per cent, to 1069.

Energy stocks were the clear favourites, rising 1.8 per cent. Telecom services rose 1 per cent and health care stocks rose 0.8 per cent.

Financials, some of which had fallen sharply on Monday on concerns that Bank of America Corp. would dilute existing shareholders if it had to raise additional capital, rose 0.8 per cent.

However, consumer discretionary stocks fell 1.1 per cent after a disappointing reading on U.S. consumer confidence. The Conference Board index of consumer confidence fell to 47.7, from 53.4 in September - well below the consensus expectation for a reading of 53.5 this month.

"Usually, rising stock prices boost expectations; the lack of response this time around is worrying," said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

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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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