Stocks ended the day almost unchanged on Monday, with investors staying cautious after the U.S. benchmark index slumped 2.4 per cent last week.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 12,815.16, down 0.23 point or zero per cent. The broader S&P 500 closed at 1380.00, up 0.15 point or zero per cent. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,191.46, down 5.34 points or almost zero per cent.
U.S. lawmakers are in discussion on how to deal with spending and revenue issues in an attempt to avoid automatic tax increases and spending cuts next year, which threaten to push the economy back into recession and hammer the country's credit rating. The uncertainty has been hanging over stocks ever since Barack Obama won a second Presidential term in elections last week.
Apple Inc. fell 0.8 per cent as the stock continued to slide from its record high in September. Last week, the share price decline exceeded 23 per cent from the high, putting the stock into a bear market decline – the first since the financial crisis.
In Canada, The Brick Ltd. jumped 52 per cent after agreeing to a $700-million takeover offer from retailer Leon's Furniture Ltd. Leon's rose 2 per cent.
Research In Motion Ltd. rose 2.9 per cent after its said it would launch its much-delayed BlackBerry 10 platform – and phones using it – on January 30. The new platform is widely seen as RIM's best shot at recouping market share.
Osisko Mining Corp. fell 8.2 per cent after bidding $550-milllion for Queenstone Mining Inc., increasing its profile in Ontario.
Commodities had a quiet day. Crude oil fell to $85.57 (U.S.) a barrel, down 50 cents. Gold was unchanged, at $1,730.90.