Gold continues descent The Toronto stock market was little changed Monday as gold stocks continued to add to the huge losses racked up this year. The S&P/TSX composite index dipped 6.59 points to close Monday at 13,581.39 The Canadian dollar advanced 0.56 cents to 94 cents U.S. The gold sector declined, down while February bullion lost substantially, adding further damage to a sector already down almost 50% for the year while the metal has fallen about 28%. Goldcorp gave back 86 cents to $22.25 while Iamgold fell 21 cents to $3.50 . The energy sector was lower as Suncor Energy was down 36 cents at $36.88 . Techs were among the leading advancers, with Constellation Software ahead $9.62 , or 4.4%, to $226.23 while MacDonald Dettwiler & Assoc. climbed $1.56 to $82.48 . The consumer staples component moved ahead with grocer Loblaw up 55 cents to $42.55 . The base metals sector gained with March copper on the Nymex unchanged at $3.38 U.S. a pound. First Quantum Minerals gained 47 cents to $19.12 . The TSX is preparing to end 2013 with a respectable advance of about 9%, gains that would have been greater if not for deep losses in the mining sectors. In addition to the big losses in gold, the base metals component has retreated 22%. In corporate news, Montreal -based TransForce Inc. has come out the winner in a two-way bidding war for Vitran Corp., another Canadian trucking and logistics company. Toronto -headquartered Vitran is now supporting TransForce's offer of $6.50 U.S. per share in cash for the stock it doesn't already own. The deal is valued at $136 million U.S., including $29 million U.S. of debt that will be assumed by TransForce. TransForce shares ran ahead 20 cents to $25.11 while Vitran was 25 cents lower at $6.88 . ON BAYSTREET The TSX Venture Exchange gained 2.14 points to 921.17 Eight of the 14 TSX subgroups were higher on the day, led by health-care, stronger by 1.3%, consumer staples, improving 0.7%, and real-estate, better by 0.6%. The half-dozen laggards were weighed by gold, down 3.1%, materials, sliding 1.6%, and energy, falling 0.4%. ON WALLSTREET Stocks stayed in a holding pattern Monday, with little economic or corporate news to drive the market on the next-to-last trading day of 2013. The Dow Jones industrial average strengthened 25.88 points to finish at 16,504.29, its 51st all-time high of 2013! The S&P 500 index moved lower 0.13 points to 1,841.07. The NASDAQ faded 2.39 points to 4,154.20. Trading volumes are expected to be low this week as many investors and traders take time off work. U.S. markets will be closed Wednesday for New Year's Day . Stocks are capping off a stellar year, with all three indexes have risen more than 25% in 2013. The Dow is on track for its biggest annual gain since 1996, and the S&P 500 is on pace for its strongest year since 1997. Crocs shares surged after private equity firm Blackstone Group agreed to invest about $200 million U.S. in the company. The footwear maker also announced a $350-million U.S. stock buyback and said CEO John McCarvel was retiring. Cooper Tire & Rubber cancelled plans to be bought by India -based Apollo Tyres for $2.5 billion U.S. The companies announced the deal in June, but Cooper said Apollo breached the agreement and that the deal's potential financing fell through. Cooper shares rose 5% on the new Shares of Twitter edged lower, extending Friday's sharp losses. The selling comes after a strong rally over the past few weeks. Twitter shares have gained 130% since the company's November IPO. Some traders welcomed the selling, saying Twitter shares had run up too far too fast. Shares of Alcoa were little changed amid reports that Ford will reveal in January that it will use military grade aluminum in its best-selling F-150 pickups. Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries gained, lowering yields to 2.98% from Friday's 3.01%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions. Oil prices slid $1.08 to $99.24 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices dropped $18.80 to $1,195.20 U.S. an ounce.
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