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North American stocks held relatively steady at the start of trading on Monday, ahead of a meeting among European finance ministers to sign off on the latest Greek bailout but with little in the way of U.S. economic news.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 15 points or 0.1 per cent, to 12,937. The broader S&P 500 fell 1 point or less than 0.1 per cent, to 1,370. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index fell 25 points or 0.2 per cent, to 12,479.

U.S. banks were weak: Bank of America Corp. fell 0.4 per cent and JPMorgan Chase & Co. fell 1.4 per cent. However, some of the biggest gains came from economically sensitive stocks. Walt Disney Co. rose 1.3 per cent, while Boeing Co. and Alcoa Inc. rose 0.7 per cent each.

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Canadian commodity producers weighed on the TSX. Suncor Energy Inc. fell 1.2 per cent and Barrick Gold Corp. fell 0.5 per cent, reflecting declines in the price of crude oil and gold.

However, Viterra Inc. rose another 4.3 per cent on speculation that Glencore PLC might be readying a bid for the Canadian grain handler. Viterra shares spiked on Friday after the company disclosed that there had been "expressions of interest."

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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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