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The close: Commodities cut Dow, TSX gains

Stock gains evaporated on Monday, despite early gains during the day that had been driven in part by stronger-than-expected U.S. retail sales in October.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 11,201.97, up 9.39 points, or less than 0.1 per cent after being up nearly 90 points earlier. The broader S&P 500 closed at 1197.75, down 1.46 points, or 0.1 per cent. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,735.41, down 13.83 points, or 0.1 per cent - marking an 85-point reversal from its intraday high.

You can blame much of the reversal on commodity producers, which led the declines after key prices sagged in afternoon trading. Canadian materials stocks fell 1.4 per cent, with Barrick Gold Corp. down 1.3 per cent and Teck Resources Ltd. down 0.5 per cent. As well, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. fell 2 per cent after BHP Billiton Ltd. pulled the plug on its takeover offer.

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U.S. materials were also the biggest laggards for the S&P 500, slumping 0.9 per cent. U.S. energy stocks fell 0.5 per cent.

Outside of the commodities space, things were relatively upbeat though. U.S. financials led the gains, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. up 1.2 per cent. And Caterpillar Inc. rose 1 per cent after it agreed to buy mining equipment company Bucyrus International Inc. in a $7.6-billion (U.S.) deal.

Ford Motor Co. surged 4.3 per cent after the Commerce Department reported upbeat auto sales in October. And Boeing Co., stung by an emergency landing of one of its 787 Dreamliners during a test flight last week, rebounded 0.8 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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