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North American stocks opened flat on Friday, with little in the way of big news driving markets -- no doubt driving concerns about whether the rally of 2012 is sputtering.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 3 points, to 12,982. The broader S&P 500 rose 1 point or 0.1 per cent, to 1365. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 2 points, to 12,734.

For sure, there were some moves among companies reporting their quarterly results. SalesForce.com Inc. surged 9.3 per cent after the technology company beat expectations with its adjusted earnings. Magna International Inc. rose 3.4 per cent after reporting its fourth quarter results on Thursday after markets closed. Sales at the auto parts maker rose 13 per cent over last year.

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Suncor Energy Inc. rose 0.8 per cent after the price of crude oil rose to $108.26 (U.S.) a barrel, up 43 cents.

Among other moves, Boeing Co. rose 0.5 per cent and Bank of America Corp. rose 0.4 per cent, suggesting some appetite for economically sensitive stocks. Among defensive stocks, Procter & Gamble rose 0.4 per cent but Johnson & Johnson fell 1 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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