The market is up 6. Dow Jones was up 7. SFE Futures were up 7 this morning.

The Dow was up 14 at best and down 66 at worst in a quiet trading day. No major economic data released. Some political uncertainties in Europe. Best sectors — Utilities (+0.3%), Basic Materials (+0.2%) and Telecoms (+0.2%). Worst sectors — Technology (-0.2%) and Health Care (-0.1%). According to Bloomberg 74% of the S&P500 companies that have reported so far have issued fourth quarter earnings above market expectations (while 64% have exceeded analysts’ consensus top-line sales projections). Nikkei up 3.77% yesterday (52 week high) and the Yen fell further as the Bank of Japan Governor resigns early raising the prospect of further aggressive monetary policy easing. Metals down — Copper down 0.29%, Nickel 2.03%, Lead down 1.56%, Zinc down 0.34%. Spot iron ore up 90c to $155.10. Oil up 19c to $96.83. Gold up $5.10 to $1677.50.

  • Unemployment was 5.4% better than an expected rise to 5.5% in January. The total number of jobs in Australia increased 10,400 to 11,549,100. Analysts had expected a rise of 5000.
  • The NAB Q business survey showed both conditions and confidence fell. Business confidence fell to -5 and conditions fell to -6.
  • Telstra (TLS) — Interims — In line with expectations. EBITDA $4.986 billion. They have added 607,000 new domestic mobile customers bringing the number to 14.4 million. TLS is up 1.31% to 464c.
  • NAB (NAB) — Q1 Trading update out this morning (no dividend with this annoucnement) – Q1 cash earnings up 4% to $1.45bn. NAB is up 1.46% to 2851c.
  • Webjet (WEB) — Interims — Sales up 13%, NPAT up 24%, guidance for a 15% increase for the full year. WEB is down 1.01% to 492c.
  • Tabcorp (TAH) — Complex numbers — 1H reported profit of $97.2 million above  an expected $94m. TAH is up 1.3% to 312c.
  • Flexigroup (FXL) — Below consensus — 1H13 profit of $32.6 million which was 3% below forecast. FXL is down 1.49% to 398c.
  • News Corp (NWS) — Downgrades guidance — 2Q profit of $US2.3 billion up from $US1.02 billion. FY13E EBIT guidance was revised to “mid to high single digit” from “high single digit to low double digit”. NWS is down 4% to 2639c.
  • Origin (ORG) down 3% on talk of another profit downgrade.
  • Australand Property Group (ALZ) — NPAT was $142.1 million above an expected forecast of $140.1 million. 1H13 earnings to be lower than 1H12 due to timing of residential settlements. ALZ is down 2% to 343c.
  • Virgin Australia (VAH) — ACCC has expressed concerns about Virgin’s move to take control of the Australian arm of Tiger Airways Holdings saying it would create a duopoly. VAH is down 2.78% to 43.75c.

Peter Fray

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