The market is down 66. The SFE Futures were down 36 this morning.

The Dow closed down 97 points and was down as much as 125. It was the third day in four that the index closed lower and was its worst day yet in 2012. The S&P 500 was down 0.5% and encountered technical resistance at 1355 — a level just below its July 2011 high. European markets were mixed. Metals were mixed on the LME. Gold was up $12.50 to $1730.20. The Aussie dollar fell slightly to 106.88c.

Main points … results not setting the market alight:

  • Westpac Bank (WBC) released their Q1 trading update which was below expectations. Cash earnings fell to $1.5bn compared with a cash profit of $1.55bn last year. 
  • Wesfarmers (WES) released their 1st H results which were slightly below expectations. Net profit was $1.18bn up 0.3% but below an expected $1.238m.
  • AMP released their FY results which were slightly below expectations. Underlying net profit including AXA results was $909m which was a touch below an expected $914m.
  • QR National (QRN) released their 1st H earnings results which were slightly below expectations. QRN reported an EBIT of $251m which was slightly lower than an expected $270.9m.
  • Qantas Airways (QAN) released their 1st H results. QAN reported an underlying pre-tax profit of $202m which was above an expected $180m.
  • Brambles (BXB) released their 1st H results which were slightly below expectations. NPAT came in at US$239.5 up 9% but below an expected US$278m.
  • Alumina (AWC) reported their full year results which were above expectations. NPAT of US$127m was well above last years $34.6m. But outlook for 2012 remains cautious.
  • ASX has reported their 1st H results. The company reported an underlying profit after tax of $180.7 which was in line with an expected $181m.
  • Goodman Group (GMG) 1st H results which were OK. GMG reported an 11.5% fall in NPAT to $229.2m.
  • Goodman Fielder (GFF) reported their 1st H results which were below expectations. Net profit of $93.1m was down 77% from last year.
  • Jobs numbers better than expected +46,300 versus consensus of +15,000 although nearly 75% were part timers. Unemployment 5.1% against 5.2% and better than the 5.3% expected

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