The market is up 32. SFE Futures were up 30 this morning.
Dow Jones up 95. The Dow was up 109 at best and down 3 at worst. The Dow locked in its best intraday performance in over a month on the back of mixed economic data (good retail sales numbers) and some strong 3Q earnings numbers from the financial sector. Citigroup +5.5% beat its earnings expectations. The earnings report included a strong performance by their fixed interest trading unit. Citigroup management noted that while market volumes were still down slightly on last year, market conditions had improved with many clients stepping back up to the plate. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley also outperformed their sector and were up between 2.5% and 3.6%. Goldman Sachs reports their third quarter earnings tonight before the open in the US. American Express and Wells Fargo were down 0.5% and 1.0%.
US retail sales came in better then expected at +1.1% for September and the Empire State manufacturing index improved from minus 10.41 to minus 6.16 in October. Wal-Mart up 1.8%, Lowe’s up 3.3% and Macy’s up 1.3%.
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Best sectors — Health Care (+1.4%), Financials (+1.2%), Consumer Services (+0.9%) and Basic Materials (+0.8%).
Worst sectors — Telecoms (-0.6%).
Metals mixed — Copper down 0.45%, Nickel up 0.06%, Aluminium down 1.69% and Zinc was down 1.15%. The spot iron ore price down $1.50 to $113.00.
Telstra (TLS) — AGM — Will maintain their 28c dividend this financial year and have reiterated earnings guidance for “low single digits”. Cash flow is expected to be between $4.75 billion to $5.25 billion in the year. Telstra’s chairman Catherine Livingstone said “I can confirm it is the board’s intention to pay a fully-franked dividend of 28 cents per share in fiscal 2013, subject to the normal approval process and there being no unexpected material events.” TLS is up 2c to 396c.
Lend Lease (LLC) says discrepancies in the Abigroup’s accounts were a one-off and will not affect their financial results guidance. Senior management at Lend Lease found discrepancies in Abigroup’s numbers for the year to June 30 which related to road projects in QLD and Victoria. LLC is up 3.79% to 850c.
Cochlear (COH) — AGM — The Board has defended their decision to award share options to CEO Chris Roberts after the company’s net profit dropped to $56.8 million from $180.1 million in the last 12 months due to a product recall. The Australian Shareholder’s Association voted against the awarding of share options at their AGM today. COH is up 1.52% to 7195c.
Macquarie Group (MQG) and Orix Corp are the lead candidates to buy Rabobank’s Robeco division. Robeco is expected to be sold for more than $2.59 billion. MQG is up 1.34% to 2946c.
NRW Holdings (NWH) has been awarded a $90 million earthworks contract for Rio Tinto’s Yandi sustaining project in the Pilbara WA. NWH is up 4.09% to 191c.
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