Market down 77 on profit taking ahead of long weekend and perhaps in reaction to a market that went up 88 yesterday on a 104 point fall in Wall St. Option expiry may have something to do with it. Financials down 1.7% after strong rise yesterday post the ANZ results. Resources down with Woodside and Newcrest both struggling. Light volumes today.

Dow up 43 or 0.34%. NASDAQ outperformed up 1.19%. Volume traded was 15% below average. There were 113 sets of results. Some good results especially from Tech stocks. Some poor after hours announcements from Apple, Amazon and Starbucks give us a pretty shabby lead into the Wall St session tonight. Bond insurers smashed on Ambac results. A $6bn takeover adds some hope that credit markets are improving and ambition returning… “Getting back to normal”. Boeing up 4.5% after better than expected results. Semiconductor stocks up 4.1% on good results from Broadcom. Tech sector up 1.4%. Apple up 1.7% in normal trade then down after hours on good results but lower guidance. Financials generally down (sector down 0.8%) with falls in Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and AIG. Telecoms up with rises in AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. More fund managers calling the bottom. The Bear Stearns bail out has so far marked the bottom. US mortgage applications fell 14.2% last week. Weekly crude inventory numbers saw stockpiles up more than expected.

  • Both BHP and RIO up in ADR form overnight, 2.81% and 2.07% respectively. BHP down 51c to 4459c. RIO down 184c to 14535c.
  • Metals mostly down overnight – Zinc down 1.4%, Copper down 1.7% and Nickel down 0.7%. Aluminium up 0.4%. Zinifex down 6c to 1029c.
  • Oil price up 11c to $119.28 after weekly oil inventories exceeded analysts’ expectations. Woodside down 113c to 5908c.
  • Gold down $16.20 to $909.00. Newcrest down 138c to 2996c.
  • US Bonds down with the 10 year yield up to 3.73%.

After the higher than expected CPI numbers yesterday there is some debate about interest rates again. Noticeably Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi fell in an up market. The consensus seems to be that the higher than expected CPI number was not enough to prompt a change in the “On Hold” RBA policy and that rates will remain on hold next month, but there’s little doubt the hopes for a peak and cut in rates has been pushed out. Next RBA Meeting on 6 May.

  • ANZ Bank (ANZ) down 2% after the big 4.2% rise yesterday, thought to be partly due to short-covering but also on “relief” after interims met expectations without disaster. Credit Suisse has downgraded to NEUTRAL. The ANZ doesn’t feature much as a favourite bank stock in broker research. ANZ down 38c to 2165c.
  • Caltex (CTX) announces $67m fall in 1Q EBIT and flagged a $30m-$35m loss on 2Q EBIT due to unplanned maintenance at two refineries. Down 1.2% in early trading. CTX down 51c to 1280c.
  • Downer EDI (DOW) announced the acquisition of New Zealand’s Asture Ltd for an undisclosed figure. The deal ensures it extends its 5 year service contract with Telstra Clear in NZ. DOW up 3c to 704c.
  • Orica (ORI) has penetrated the Chinese market by entering into a JV with Chinese company Hunan Nanling Industrial Explosive Materials to create a detonator plant in the country. Hasn’t set the price alight. ORI down 70c to 3060c.
  • Seven Network’s (SEV) Kerry Stokes failed in his attempt to remove West Australian Newspapers Holdings’ (WAN) chairman Peter Mansell and three other directors from the board by the slimmest of margins after yesterdays Extraordinary General Meeting. It may look like a victory for WAN but its not. Almost half their shareholders are not happy with the board. Brokers telling us a 6.1% yield is support enough for the stock whilst the management take steps to change. SEV down 8c to 949c. WAN down 17c to 1057c.
  • Western Areas (WSA) announce significant nickel, copper and cobalt results from initial diamond drilling at the Melville prospect at the Lynn Lake Nickel Project in northern Manitoba. WSA up 16c to 822c.
  • MYOB has sold its UK Business Division to Mamut ASA for ₤1.7m cash as part of its refocusing strategy. MYO up 0.5c to 155.5c.
  • IOOF Holdings Ltd (IFL) cut its full year earnings guidance after falls in equity markets. Guidance now expects underlying after tax profit to be $25m – $27m ending June, down from the $29.2m expected. “The range reflects the continued uncertainty in relation to equity markets.” IFL down 13c to 560c. Have to say, IFL was always in the firing line for downgrades after similar admissions from Challenger and Perpetual… but if that’s the extent of the damage its not that bad.
  • Arana Therapeutic (AAH) said is has entered into an agreement to co-develop a new anti-cancer drug for colorectal cancer with Japanese firm Kyowa Hakko Kogyo. AAH up 4c to 100c.

This report is brought to you by the Marcus Today Daily stock market newsletter – we have an article in the newsletter today about ANZAC Day and another about the money value of time. A can of VB costs you 4.15 minutes of your life to buy and if you spend more than 4.15 minutes drinking it the cost doubles.

We also include all the PEs and Yields on the ASX 200 today as usual and more stories, opinion and commentary. Marcus is on the ABC TV Inside Business program at 10am on Sunday morning and on Sky Business News this lunchtime at 12.45pm.

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