Thursday, December 06, 2012 00:32 PM EST Toronto static at noon Loblaw, T-D in vogue Canadian stocks were little changed on Thursday as a 16% jump in Loblaw Cos Ltd on the grocer's plan to spin off its property holdings partly offset investor concerns about Toronto-Dominion Bank's latest U.S. acquisition and results. The S&P/TSX composite index settled back 14.10 points to reach noon at 12,143.19 The Canadian dollar was up 0.12 cents to 100.93 cents U.S. Loblaw, the country's largest grocer, said it would create one of Canada's largest real estate investment trusts to hold a significant part of its property assets and sell units through an initial public offering. The stock rose to $38.92. Shares of Canadian Tire Corp, another owner of prime retail real estate, were up 3% at $67.78. Toronto-Dominion said it is buying the owner of Epoch Investment Partners for $668 million in cash to expand its U.S. asset management business, while it reported a flat quarterly profit. Shares of the country's second-biggest bank were down 1.6% at $81.31. Stock in the bank fell on worries about higher expenses and loan loss provisions, as well as added caution attached to its bid for Epoch. On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada reported this morning that the total value of building permits in this country rose 15.0% to $7.5 billion in October, following a 12.7% decline in September, mostly due to higher construction intentions for non-residential buildings, mostly in Ontario and Quebec. Purchasing activity in Canada unexpectedly fell in November, according to Ivey Purchasing Managers Index data released on Thursday, the latest report to suggest economic weakness has carried into the fourth quarter. The seasonally adjusted index fell to 47.5 in November from 58.3 in October. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected an adjusted reading of 58.6. ON BAYSTREET The TSX Venture Exchange backtracked 3.39 points to 1,181.15 Eight of the 14 Toronto subgroups were higher by midday Thursday. Consumer staples zoomed 1.7%, while industrials gained 0.7% and gold prospered 0.5%. The half-dozen laggards were weighed mostly by financials, down 0.7%, information technology, sagging 0.5%, and energy, off 0.4%. ON WALLSTREET Once again, the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington took centre stage on Wall Street Thursday The Dow Jones Industrials regained 1.43 points to approach lunch break at 13,035.90 The S&P 500 recovered 2.41 points to 1,411.69, while the Nasdaq Composite Index took on 11.86 points to 2,984.74 Apple shares rose, followings a two-day loss of 8%. In an interview scheduled to air Thursday evening, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple will begin manufacturing one of its existing Mac line of computers exclusively in the United States next year. Yoga apparel maker Lululemon Athletica's third-quarter earnings topped expectations. Though guidance for the fourth quarter fell short of forecasts, its shares gained 2%. Investors refrained from making big bets as the fiscal cliff remains unresolved. President Obama told members of the Business Roundtable Wednesday that there has been "some movement" on the Republican side toward allowing rates to rise on high-income taxpayers. If this continues, he said, "we can probably solve this in about a week." If lawmakers fail to strike a deal before the end of the year to avert the $500 billion U.S. in scheduled tax increases and spending cuts, they risk pushing the U.S. economy into recession. Meanwhile, investors also continued to keep an eye on the latest jobs data leading up to the monthly jobs report due Friday. The U.S. Labor Department reported that the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits dropped 25,000 to 370,000 last week. Economists predict the department's report on Friday will show the U.S. economy added only 77,000 jobs in November, which would mean a major hiring slowdown after 171,000 jobs were created a month earlier. Treasury prices picked up ground, lowering yields on the 10-year note to 1.57% from Wednesday’s 1.59%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions. Oil prices gave back $1.67 to $86.21 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices regained $5.20 an ounce to $1,699 U.S.