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Traders work at the trading post that trades Citigroup stock on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in this file photo.


The Toronto stock market inched lower in early trading as concerns about the U.S. government fiscal situation dominated attention ahead of the Christmas holiday.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 2.18 points to 12,383.52, in a shortened trading session that ends at 1 p.m. ET. The TSX Venture Exchange rose 5.24 points to 1,182.95.

The Canadian dollar was at 100.78 cents (U.S.), up 0.12 of a cent.

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Gold stocks dropped 0.6 per cent with the February bullion adding 30 cents to $1,660.40 (U.S.) an ounce. March copper was up 1.5 cents at $3.55 (U.S.) a pound.

January crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange slid 36 cents to $88.30 (U.S.) a barrel.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials dropped 35.87 points to 13,154.97, the Nasdaq fell 8.38 points to 3,012.63 and the S&P 500 index was off 3.88 points at 1,426.27. U.S. stock markets will also close early.

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