Nov 21, 2012

The market is up 2. SFE Futures were up 2 this morning. Dow Jones down 7. The Dow was down 95 at worst and up 13 at best. US markets traded higher early in the session with Building Permits and Housing Starts coming in better than expected suggesting the US housing market is recovering, following on from solid Existing home sales numbers on Monday. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke at an economic function in New York. He warned, that a failure to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff would pose a "substantial threat" to the current moderate growth credentials of the US economy because the Fed alone did not have the firepower required to offset this downside risk. It was this last comment that saw the market suddenly fall midday -- the message to Congress is that the Fed is out of weapons and if the economy falls off the fiscal cliff they won't be able to support it. Best sectors -- Financials (+0.5%), Consumer Services (+0.5%) and Consumer Goods (+0.4%), Health Care (+0.6%). Worst sectors -- Technology (-0.7%) and Energy (-0.4%). The Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.3% with Basic Materials (+0.8%), Industrials (+0.7%), Consumer Goods (+0.5%) and Consumer Services (+0.5%). Metals Mixed -- Copper down 1.19% Nickel up 0.83%, Aluminium down 0.43%, Lead down 1.23%.
  • The WBC/Melb Institute Leading Index went up to 4.1% in September from 2.9% the previous month.
  • David Jones (DJS) -- 1st Q sales went up by 0.3% to $415.6m up from $414.3m which was slightly below a consensus forecast for 1% growth to $418.4m. The retailer says second quarter sales are so far following a similar trend. Like-for-like sales were the same as total sales as there were no store openings or closures in the relevant periods. DJS is down 1.17% to 254c.
  • Oakton (OKN) -- AGM -- Expects FY13 profit to be down 5%-10% on the FY12 result of $11.8m due to reduced demand in the ACT. Cash flow remains on target. The FY13 profit guidance was 4% below expectations. Patersons maintains their Hold recommendation and will review the price target of $130c. OKN is down 4.3% to 122.5c.
  • Programmed Maintenance Services (PRG) – Has posted 1st H13 earnings of $21.6m down 2% and below a consensus forecast of $28.6m due to increased competition and costs associated with industrial disputes and contract delays. PRG is down 6.35% to 177c.
  • Fletcher Building (FBU) -- AGM -- Expects earnings to grow by 22% in the 2013 financial year to be between $560m - $610m. FBU is up 0.08% to 607.5c.
  • Lynas Corp (LYC) -- Expects their LAMP plant in Malaysia to finally begin production in December after long delays caused by environmental activists. LYC is down 1.14% to 65c.
  • Sydney Airports (SYD) -- Reported an increase in passenger traffic in October. Domestic passenger numbers went up by 7.9% while international traffic went up by 3.5%. Total growth for October was 6.4% compared to 3.1% increase in the financial year to date. SYD is down 0.30% to 332c.
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