Toronto stocks lower, U.S. markets mixed ahead of American employment numbers

TORONTO _ Canada’s main stock index declined slightly today in a slow day for markets as investors awaited U.S. employment figures Friday.

The S&P/TSX composite index fell 6.46 points to 15,621.47.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 5.17 points to 23,930.15. The S&P 500 index declined 5.94 points to 2,629.73 and the Nasdaq composite index retreated 12.75 points to 7,088.15.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 77.75 cents US, down 0.06 of a U.S. cent.

The June crude contract gained 50 cents to US$68.43 per barrel and the June natural gas contract fell roughly three cents to about US$2.73 per mmBTU.

The June gold contract rose US$7.10 to US$1,312.70 an ounce and the July copper contract advanced about one cent to US$3.08 a pound.