The market is down 27 points.

The Dow Jones was down 9 points to 15,967. The market again rose above 16,000 and fluctuated between gains and losses before closing near the bottom of an 80 point range.

Major factors were mixed earnings, a flow-on from yesterday’s negative comments by Carl Icahn and consolidation ahead of a speech by Ben Bernanke.

The S&P was down 4 to 1788.

Oil rose 0.38%to US$93.38.

Gold rose US$2.20to US$1274.50 per ounce.

The US$ was weaker against most major currencies and the Aussie dollar was stronger at US$ 0.94.25.

VIX volatility index rose 2.44% to 13.42.

US treasury markets were weaker — the yield on the 10 year bond rose four basis points to 2.711%.

European shares were weaker — in reaction to earlier comments from activist investor Carl Icahn in the US. The UK FTSE fell 0.38% and the French market fell 1.12%. The Greek market managed to rise 0.33%.

European bonds were stronger. The yield on the Euro 10 year bond yield fell two basis point and French, German and Italian bonds were all stronger. The Greek 10 year yield rose nine basis points.

Base metal prices were stronger — led by aluminium up 0.68%.

Iron ore fell US$0.70 to US$136.30 a tonne.

STORIES

  • WorleyParsons (WOR) — profit downgrade. It expects first half profit of $90-$110 million down from $322 million.
  • Kathmandu (KMD) — AGM —  current economic conditions still uncertain globally, particularly in Australia. It expects another solid performance in the 2014 financial year with a target of 15 new stores. Group sales for the first 16 weeks up  0.9% to $70.9 million. Same store sales up 3.8%.
  • The ACCC has withdrawn its investigation into allegations of cartel behaviour between James Packer’s Crown and rival Echo.
  • Monadelphous Group (MND) — Closed down 0.28% after its AGM yesterday. The company is forecasting weaker revenue this year on the back of a more subdued outlook in the mining industry. Revenue this year was likely to be below the $2.6 billion achieved in fiscal 2013. The company cut $15 million in annual costs.
  • Ben Bernanke speaks 11am our time. Not sure why the market is so interested. Janet Yellen will soon be at the helm and she has made her thoughts quite clear. They’re unlikely to do something before she takes over, but there’s always the chance of a surprise.
  • FOMC meeting minutes released Wednesday in the US.
  • The OECD have lowered its global growth forecast to 2.7% for this year and 3.6% for next year, down from the 3.1% and 4.0% forecast in May. Australian GDP will remain below average at 2.6% in 2014 as the resources boom ends and the OECD warns interest rates will need to remain low.
  • AGMs today — Myer, Virgin, Cabcharge, Kathmandu, Flexigroup, Lynas Corp and Ainsworth Game Tech.
  • Economic data today — very quiet. International Merchandise and CBA business sales.
  • Lots of US economic data in the US tonight, including retail sales, CPI, existing home sales, business inventories and the MBA mortgage index.
  • Chinese financial market reforms — no details or time frames but the POBC will end the normal intervention in currency markets and increase the Yuan band flexibility.

Peter Fray

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