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Stocks held their ground in midday trading on Tuesday, lifted by a number of strong earnings reports from blue-chip U.S. companies.

At noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 109 points or 0.9 per cent, to 12,494. The broader S&P 500 was up 11 points or 0.8 per cent, to 1316.

The gains were broad but were generally tilted toward economically sensitive stocks. Information technology stocks showed the biggest gains, rising 1.9 per cent following strong earnings on Monday from International Business Machines Corp. Consumer discretionary stocks rose 1.3 per cent, while energy and materials rose 0.9 per cent each.

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Typically defensive stocks lagged. Telecom services fell 0.1 pr cent, utilities were flat and health care stocks rose just 0.1 per cent.

In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 61 points or 0.5 per cent, to 13,316.

Energy stocks led the way, rising 1.4 per cent after the price of crude oil rebounded above $97 (U.S.) a barrel. Consumer staples rose 0.7 per cent and utilities rose 0.4 per cent.

Materials dipped 0.1 per cent, with gold producers retreating from Monday's rally. Financials also lagged, but rose 0.2 per cent.

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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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