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Canadian Stocks Down 20 Points, But Off Earlier Lows As Cyprus Worries Weigh; Healthcare Stocks The Big Gainers

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Canadian stocks are down around 20 points early Monday afternoon, but they were down near 70 points inside the first half an hour amid concerns about how attempts to implement a controversial bailout plan in Cyprus will play out.

Shares of gold mining companies were higher, but they too have been pulled lower in the general malaise despite a rise in the price of precious metals as investors flock to perceived havens in the wake of the political and financial uncertainty in Cyprus.

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (BAM-A.TO, BAM) is down about 1.5% with the company saying it will distribute a stake in its commercial property operations to its Class A and B shareholders through a special dividend of equity units of a newly created company. It estimates the units are worth about $1.45 apiece.

Healthcare stocks are the biggest gainers, including a 9% rise for Swisher Hygiene Inc. (SWI.TO, SWSH) after the company on Friday reported fiscal Q3 earnings of $0.08 per share, turning around a $0.01 per share net loss during the same quarter last year and beating the single analyst estimate also expecting for $0.01 loss. Revenue rose 20% year over year to $59.0 mln, trailing the Street view by $19.47 mln.

Blackberry (BB.TO) is also helping sentiment with small gains, although it is off earlier session highs. Its CEO Thorsten Heins reportedly told The Australian Financial Review the company will show a strong cash position when it reports in the coming weeks. He also reportedly criticized the iPhone saying its software is starting to look a bit dated.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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