The market is down 20 points
.The Dow Jones was down 21 points at 16,722
-- The market opened lower but strengthened after good factory orders data. The best performing sectors were energy, financials and the defensive utilities and health care. Telcos and industrials underperformed. Volume was higher but still lower than average and the market traded in a 47 point range.
US company news
-- General Motors and Ford gained after reporting better than expected sales. Hillshore Brands received a revised proposal from Pilgrim's Pride after another offer from Tyson Foods. Krispy Kreme and Quicksilver were weaker after disappointing results yesterday.
European share markets were weaker --
The UK FTSE fell 0.13%, the German DAX fell 0.31% and the French CAC fell 0.27%. Markets were cautious ahead of Thursday's ECB meeting.
US treasuries fell
for the fourth day, with the yield on the benchmark 10 year bond rising seven basis points to 2.601% after stronger economic data.
The Aussie dollar was stronger
and is currently trading at US92.66c.
Oil rose US$0.19
or 0.19% to US%$102.66 a barrel.
Base metals were mixed
-- Aluminium rose 0.41% and zinc rose 0.36% but nickel fell 1.46% and copper was down 1.06%.
Iron ore rose US$0.40
to US$92.50 a tonne.
US economic data
-- Factory Orders: Actual 0.7%, consensus 0.5%, prior 1.1% (revised 1.5%)
US earnings --
Dollar General -- up 3.89%, Mattress Firm -- up 1.12%
Australian economic data today
-- GDP -- economists are expecting 0.8% for the quarter and 3.1% yoy, overseas arrivals and departures, AiG Performance of Services Index.
Company news today -- Programmed Maintenance
(PRG) AGM. Challenger Group
-- Investor Day
Ex-dividend -- KMD 2.4011c, RHL
Eurozone GDP, PPI and services PMI, important in the lead up to Thursday’s ECB meeting. US ISM Services Index, Fed Beige Book, trade balance, private employment data.
- Australand (ALZ) -- Bidding war -- Singapore's Frasers Centrepoint had entered the bidding war by lodging a $2.59 billion bid at 448c per share trumping the Stockland Group (SGP) offer. ALZ has allowed Frasers Centrepoint to conduct exclusive due diligence over a four-week period and says they will be recommending the offer to shareholders if it becomes binding.
- Westfield Retail Trust (WRT) -- Has warned their shareholders that they will be worse off if they reject a merger with WDC. The planned merger has stalled after a shareholder vote was postponed at the last minute due to a heated debate about the takeover. The vote has been postponed to June 20th. If the merger goes ahead, WRT and WDC will become Scentre Group. WRT shareholders say the proposal favours WDC.
- Amcom (AMM) -- Has gone into trading halt pending an announcement on a propose equity raising. Rumours are that the equity raising is for an acquisition.
- Singtel (SGT) -- MD Vic McClelland says SGT’s mobile network coverage is growing quicker than Telstra's and will catch up in 2016. Optus will hit about 98.5% of people with their 4G services within 2.5 years. If Optus catches up, TLS' earnings could be hurt, as mobile generates 36% of TLS' revenue. TLS has a 51.5% mobile market share.
- David Jones (DJS) -- The AFR says Solomon Lew may control in excess of 5% "because of derivative swap contracts with Deutsche Bank".
- Budget blues -- We saw a bit of a blood bath in the retail stocks yesterday as the retail sales numbers came in below expectations and the downtrend in retail sales growth continues. The peak in cyclical benefits of a low interest rate environment seems to have passed for consumer stocks not helped by the budget that really has taken the legs out of confidence.
- The RBA left rates on hold obviously. Some brokers even suggesting a rate cut early next year. Seems unlikely. The RBA didn’t return to an easing bias but you get the message, no rate rises likely for some time, especially in light of the peak in consumer confidence, and the need for a lower A$ helps build the case.
- The RBA talked about mining investment declining significantly in their statement yesterday, a sentiment evidenced by Ausdrill (ASL) profit warning this week.