North American stock markets today gave up some of their gains yesterday, as the relief rally that came from the U.S. fiscal cliff deal quickly ran out of gas.

The S&P/TSX composite index  was down 25 points to 12,514 in the late morning Thursday. All sectors were in the red, except for financials and telecoms, which eked out small gains.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average came back down to Earth after its best day in more than a year on Wednesday.

After running up more than 300 points on Wednesday, the Dow was down 29 points to 13,386. The catalyst was a report from payroll firm ADP that suggested the U.S. private sector created 215,000 jobs last month, worse than anticipated.

Wednesday's euphoria over a fiscal cliff deal turned into a hangover on Thursday as investors realized the details fell well short of a permanent solution, and America's next financial precipice could come as early as February with an acrimonious debate over raising the U.S. debt ceiling.

The technology-laden Nasdaq composite index was 7.28 points lower to 3,104.98, and the S&P 500 slipped 3.89 points to 1,458.53. Both had soared to new highs on Wednesday.

The Canadian dollar held steady after gaining more than a cent on Wednesday, losing 0.05 of a cent to 101.45 cents US Thursday.

Stock exchanges in Europe were largely flat, and markets in Japan and mainland China were closed for extended holidays until Friday.