RTTNews - Toronto stocks finished slightly lower on Tuesday after finishing the previous session at a seven-month high. Weakness in the energy sector balanced out a rise for gold stocks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 15.27 points or 0.14% to settle at 10,588.79. The index had gained in five of the previous seven sessions.

Energy stocks fell 2.3% as natural gas fell sharply on NYMEX trading. Suncor (SU.TO) dropped 5.2%, Canadian Oil Sands (COS.UN.TO) fell 2.4% and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) lost 2.3%.

Canadian Superior Energy (SNG.TO) rose 8.5% after announcing it will sell a 45% interest in a gas development block near Trinidad to Centrica for US$142.5 million in cash.

Gold stocks rose 2% as the precious metal continued to creep toward $1,000 an ounce. Eldorado (ELD.TO) rose 5.4%, Seabridge (SEA.TO) added 4% and Goldcorp (G.TO) climbed 3.1%.

In corporate news, Red Back Mining (RBI.TO) fell 1.5% after Credit Suisse downgraded the shares to Neutral from Outperform with a price target of C$10.50.

MKS Inc. (MKX.TO) declined 6.4% after the company announced that its fourth quarter net income decreased to US$2.0 million or US$0.04 per share, from US$4.7 million or US$0.09 per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008.

IMAX Corp. (IMX.TO) plunged 6.3% after the company announced a public offering of 9.8 million common shares at $7.15 per share. Gross proceeds from the offering are expected to be approximately $70.1 million.

In the healthcare sector, QLT Inc. (QLT.TO) added 3.5% after it revealed positive results from a 12-month primary analysis from the Phase II RADICAL study in patients with wet age-related macular degeneration.

MDS (MDS.TO) rallied 6.8% after receiving an upgrade to Buy from Hold by Jefferies & Co. with a price target of $6.50.

Pinetree Capital (PNP.TO) ended 5.25% lower after revealing it acquired 880,000 common shares of Temex Resources Corp. and 440,000 common share purchase warrants.

On Wednesday, Enghouse Systems (ESL.TO) and Reitmans Canada (RET.TO) are on the earnings calendar. Across the border, earnings are expected from homebuilder Toll Brothers.

On the economic front in the U.S., the ADP employment report is due at 8:15 a.m. ET.

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