Closing Bell TSX weakens as Fed says US economy slowed in first

TORONTO — North American markets pulled back after the U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesday it wouldn’t take any action at this time to stimulate the economy, and noted that growth decelerated in the first half of the year.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 11618.53 -0.4% -46.18S&P 500 — 1375.32 -0.29% -4.00Dow — 12976.13 -0.25% -32.55Nasdaq — 2920.21 -0.66% -19.31The S&P/TSX composite index was off 35.64 points to 11,629.07 and the TSX Venture Exchange lost 0.9 of a point to 1,182.18.The Canadian dollar was down 0.05 of a cent to 99.66 cents US, as the greenback moved higher after the Fed announcement.On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 35.64 points to 13,629.07 and the Nasdaq slid 13.71 points at 2,925.81. The S&P fell 3.10 points to 1,376.22.The Fed took no new action after its two-day policy meeting, but acknowledged that economic activity had slowed over the first half of the year, unemployment remains elevated and consumer spending has weakened.Policymakers repeated their plan to hold short-term interest rates at record low levels until at least late 2014.The European Central Bank meets Thursday, and expectations have been high. Last week, ECB president Mario Draghi said the bank “is ready to do what it takes to preserve the euro,” which set off speculation about significant moves, though that optimism has since lost much of its steam.Gold stocks led the downside of the TSX, off 1.5%, as August gold fell $14 to US$1,596.50 an ounce. September copper moved down 4.5 cents to US$3.369 a pound.The September crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange lifted 64 cents to US$88.70 a barrel.The latest U.S. manufacturing shrank for the second straight month in July. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said its index of manufacturing activity ticked up to 49.8, from 49.7 in June, further evidence of an economy growing at a sluggish pacePayroll provider ADP said U.S. businesses added 163,000 jobs last month. The report comes two days before the U.S. government reports jobs numbers for July.In morning trading, U.S. traders experienced unusually sharp moves in a number of stocks shortly after the opening bell. The New York Stock Exchange said it was reviewing trades in 140 stocks. Trading volume was unusually high in the first half-hour of trading, and some investors suspected technical glitches.In corporate developments, WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it will hike its quarterly dividend to shareholders by 33% after second-quarter profits hit a record $42.5 million or 31 cents per share. Revenue was up 12.2% to $809.3 million. Shares dropped 53 cents, to $16.05.Talisman Energy reported a sharp fall in its second-quarter profit and revenue due to weaker commodity prices and higher operating costs. The Calgary-based company posted net income of US$196-million, or 19 cents per share, from $698-million, or 68 cents per share. Revenue declined to $1.87-billion from $2.23-billion. Company shares were up 73 cents to $13.13.Maple Leaf Foods Inc. reported profits rose to $32.5-million in the second quarter, up 32% from a year ago. Total sales from Maple Leaf’s four business groups edged up to $1.26-billion from $1.24-billion. The company also said it expects to face higher prices for ingredients in the coming quarters, as it grapples with rising commodity prices. Its shares rose 65 cents to $10.65.Torstar Corp. earned $35.7-million or 45 cents per share in the second quarter, from $112.7-million or $1.42 per share a year earlier, though that included $74.6-million or 94 cents per share from the sale of Torstar’s investment in CTV Inc. Shares were down 50 cents to $8.60.Here’s the news investors were watching today:U.S. Fed says economy weaker, but takes no new stepsGreek leaders reach austerity dealWall Street sentiment at record lowFactory sectors around the world are stallingON DECK THURSDAYECONOMIC NEWSEuropean Central Bank announces interest rate and monetary policy decisions Bank of England decides on interest rates UNITED STATES7:30 a.m.Challenger layoff report (July) 8:30 a.m.Weekly new jobless claims: Economists expect 370,000 claims, up from last week 10 a.m.Factory orders (June): Economists expect 0.5% rise CORPORATE NEWSCANADAAir Canada Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 4¢ a share Enbridge Inc Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 38¢ Valeant Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 99¢ Gildan Activewear Q3 earnings: Analysts expect 67¢ Industrial Alliance Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 68¢ UNITED STATESApache Corp Q2 earnings: Analysts expect US$2.58 CBS Corp Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 59¢ Clorox Q4 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.27 Kellogg Co Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 84¢ Kraft Foods Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 66¢ Pitney Bowes Inc Q2 earnings: Analysts expect 50¢ Time Warner Cable Inc Q2 earnings: Analysts expect US$1.39

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