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Financials held North American stock market indexes back on Thursday at midday, after stunning rallies earlier in the week, due to the impending failure of CIT Group Inc.

At noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 12 points or 0.1 per cent, to 8628. The broader S&P 500 was down 1 point or 0.1 per cent, to 932.

Although six of the 10 subindexes in the S&P 500 were higher, the gains were slight. Information technology stocks enjoyed the biggest gains, but were up a mere 0.6 per cent. Industrials were in second place, with gains of just 0.2 per cent.

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Meanwhile, financials made the big moves, falling 1.4 per cent after the U.S. government signalled on Wednesday that it is unwilling to bail out CIT Group, sending the shares plummeting 70 per cent and dragging down a number of other names in the sector.

In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 31 points or 0.3 per cent, to 10,247.

There, financials were also lower, but fell just 0.1 per cent. Utilities were down 0.2 per cent.

Industrials enjoyed the biggest gains, rising 0.9 per cent after railways continued to rebound from their recent lows. Information technology stocks, dominated by Research In Motion Ltd., were up 0.8 per cent.

Commodity producers were also higher. Materials rose 0.8 per cent after key agriculture stocks jumped on a report that Brazil's Vale SA is preparing a takeover bid for Mosaic Co., a U.S. fertilizer company. Energy stocks rose 0.3 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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