The Market is up 13 and above the 5000 mark on the ASX 200 and on the All Ords. Dow Jones was down 36. SFE Futures were up 2 this morning.
The Dow was up 11 at best and down 73 at worst. President Obama’s State of the Union speech was well received for its attempts to provide long term optimism to Wall St although investors want to see whether the new administration can walk the walk rather than talk the talk. “After years of gruelling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. We buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in 20 years. Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before,” said the President. Following the speech, Republican House Speaker Boehner dismissed President Obama’s call to raise the federal minimum wage to US$9.00 an hour, from its current level of US$7.25 by the end of 2015.
US retail sales grew by 0.1% in January suggesting that there no real initial hit to household spending following the Fiscal Cliff tax hikes. Excluding autos and gas, sales were also up 0.2%, a touch better than expected.
Best sectors — Industrials (+0.5%), Consumer Services (+0.2%) and Energy (+0.2%). Worst sectors — Telecoms (-0.3%), Financials (-0.3%) and Utilities (-0.3%).
Metals mixed — Copper down 0.11%, Nickel up 0.04%, Zinc down 0.73%, Lead down 0.54%. Spot iron ore unchanged at $155.10.
- Wesfarmers (WES) — NPAT up 9.3% to $1.29 billion and inline with a consensus forecast of $1.30 billion. WES is up 0.83% to 3875c.
- David Jones (DJS) — 2Q sales fell 1.4% to $590.1 million below an expected $598.5 million. DJS is down 1.68% to 263.5c.
- Downer EDI (DOW) — 1H NPAT of $94 million up 11% and above an expected $89.2 million. Interim Div 10c. DOW is up 9.88% to 534c.
- GPT Group (GPT) — FY NPAT $594.5 million with a $221 million property valuation increase. Expects FY13 EPS of 5%. GPT is unchanged on 380c. Outlook cautiously optimistic.
- Mirvac Group (MGR) — 1H Profit of $194.2 million and slightly above a forecast of $192.3 million. Interim distribution of 4.2cps. On track to meet FY operating earnings guidance. MGR is up 0.64% to 158c.
- Singapore Telecommunications (SGT) — 3Q Net profit fell 8.3% due to one off expenses. Optus had 58,000 net additions of postpaid customers but the number of prepaid customers fell by 36,000. Optus’ revenue fell 5.7% to $2.283bn. SGT is down 1.07% to 278c.
- SAI Global (SAI) — NPAT down 14.9% to $18.4 million below an expected $22.3 million. SAI is down 16.82% to 371c.
- Zimplats Holdings (ZIM) — Net Loss of $6.386 million down 109%. Revenue down 23% to $176.5 million. Price down 2%.
- Macmahon Holdings (MAH) — Announced a new Sembawang proposal to purchase Construction projects. MAH is up 0.64% to 158c.
- Alumina (AWC) – Chinese financial company CITIC has purchased $452m or a 13% stake at 123.5c. AWC is up 10% to 132c.
- GUD ex dividend.
- RIO results later today.