stock market pricing abstract

North American stock markets fell midweek on horrible economic data and another batch of weak earnings reports.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 299.85 points at 13,958.58.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 445.41 points at 23,504.35. The S&P 500 index was down 62.70 points at 2,783.36, while the Nasdaq composite was down 122.56 points at 8,393.18.

The Canadian dollar traded for US70.99¢, compared with an average of US71.92¢ on Tuesday.

The May crude contract was down 24 cents at US$19.87 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was down 5.2 cents at nearly US$1.60 per mmBTU.

The June gold contract was down US$28.70 at US$1,740.20 an ounce and the May copper contract was down 3.35 cents at nearly US$2.30 a pound.