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Major North American stock market indexes were relatively unchanged on Thursday at midday, with weaker financials cancelling out gains from commodity producers.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 7 points, to 8641 - a snoozer of a day that may provide some relief to rattled investors. Still, at the subindex level, there was some excitement. Materials rose 1.2 per cent on continuing strength from gold producers after the price of the yellow metal rose $17 (U.S.) an ounce to $826. Energy stocks rose 1.7 per cent after the price of crude oil surged $3.70 a barrel to $47. Bloomberg News reported that the Saudi Arabian oil minister said he had delivered the production cuts promised to the OPEC oil cartel.

On the downside, consumer discretionary stocks fell 3.9 per cent, financials fell 1.2 per cent and information technology stocks fell 2.4 per cent.

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In the United States, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 41 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 8803. The broader S&P 500 was up less than 1 point, to 900.

There, energy stocks were up 3.1 per cent, utilities were up 1.6 per cent and health care stocks rose 2.3 per cent. However, financials were the biggest drag, falling 2.1 per cent.

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