The market is up 21 points. The Dow Jones was up 49 points at 16,868 — The market started the day on a weak note after disappointing economic data but quickly recovered, supported by the view that the data was historical and some good corporate earnings have been achieved since. Health Care was the best performing sectors, assisted by reports of industry consolidation. Materials and Technology companies also did well. Consumer Staples and Financials lagged. Volume was below average although in line with more recent levels and the market traded in an 84 point range.
US economic data was disappointing — The third estimate of first quarter GDP was revised down to -2.9% from 1.8% expected and durable fell 1.0% compared to the 0.4% rise expected.
European shares were weaker — The German DAX was down 0.71%, the French CAC was down 1.28% and the UK FTSE was down 0.79%.
The Aussie dollar was stronger and is currently trading at US94.04c.
Gold rose US$1.30 or 0.10% to US$1322.60c a tonne.
Oil was up US$0.47 or 0.44% to US$106.50 a barrel.
Base metals were mostly stronger — Aluminium rose 0.17% and copper was up 0.28% and zinc rose 0.36%. Nickel was up 2.48%.
Iron ore rose US$0.40 to US$93.70 a tonne.
US earnings — Bed, Bath & Beyond — down 7.20% in after hours trade, Herman Miller — down 6.60% in after-hours trade, Monsanto — up 5.06%
Australian economic events today — ABS jobs vacancies and Financial Accounts.
Dividends today — There are a lot of property trusts going ex-dividend today. Some other key ones include Sydney Airport (SYD) -11c, Capilano Honey (CZZ) – 20c, Ardent Leisure Group (ADD) – 6.2c
Monash IVF lists today — opens at midday today. The IPO price is 185c and the company is valued at $428m. It made a profit of $18.3 million in financial year 2013, and is forecasting that to grow to $22 million this year. Most of its earnings comes from fertility advice and services, while it also carries out genetic testing and provides ultrasounds.
Global economic data tonight — US Personal Income and expenditure, weekly jobless claims, UK first quarter GDP and current account.
Fed Speak: Richmond’s Fed President Jeffrey Lacker and St Louis Fed President James Bullard are both speaking tonight.
- National Australia Bank (NAB 3280c) — Peeyush Gupta has been appointed as non-executive director of the NAB Board effective November 5 2014. Mr Gupta is currently a non-executive director of National Wealth Management Holdings and was co-founder and CEO of IPAC Securities, a wealth management business acquired by AXA. Mr Gupta succeeds Geoff Tomlinson.
- Stockland (SGP 400c) — Has established a new strategic partnership with Opal Aged Care (formerly Domain Principal Group), who will provide high-quality aged care services at a number of Stockland Retirement Villages. Under the agreement, Stockland has sold four aged care facilities to Opal Aged Care for $25.6m, including $4.5 million of deferred payments. This is below book value, reflecting demolition and redevelopment of the Cardinal Freeman site. Opal Aged Care is owned 47 per cent by AMP Life and 47 per cent by GK Goh Holdings Ltd.
- Dick Smith (DSH 191.5c) — Has announced a long-term partnership with Vodafone to offer Vodafone post-paid products and services in more than 276 stores across Australia
- Southern Cross Media (SXL 105c) — Non-executive director Anthony Bell has resigned from the SXL Board effective from June 30 2014. SXL said a new director is expected to be made in the near future. Mr Bell led the TV and radio broadcaster between 1993 and 2007 and said he plans extensive international travel.
- TABCORP (TAH 339c) and Tatts Group (TTS 299c) — Announced that the Supreme Court of Victoria will deliver its judgment at 4:30pm today. The proceedings relate to compensation on the expiry of their gaming operator’s licences — TABCORP is seeking $683.86 million as a licence fee refund and Tatts is asking for more than $590 million plus interest. The companies will announce the judgement before market opening tomorrow.
- Treasury Wines Estates (TWE 507c) — Closed up 4.97% yesterday after announcing a major restructure that will cost $260 million, split its commercial business (Lindeman’s) from its luxury business (Penfolds) and change the release dates for its world-famous Penfolds wines. The move is seen as a commitment to improve the performance of the business rather than accept the 470c bid from KKR. Net result, the market hopes they’ll get a higher offer.
- Lend Lease (LLC 1312c) — LLC shares closed down 50c or 3.7% yesterday after announcing that the sale of its $1.2 billion interest in an upmarket UK shopping mall will boost its 2014 net profit by 45%. They expect FY NPAT to be $810-830m and are comfortable with financial year 2015 consensus expectations of $600-620 million.
- Roc Oil (ROC 60c) and Horizon Oil (HZN 35.5c) — ROC closed up 7.1% yesterday while HZN was down 6.6% after the $800 million merger has been complicated by a takeover approach for Roc Oil, which has received a confidential, unsolicited, indicative and incomplete takeover approach from an unnamed third party. Roc Oil said it remains committed to the merger but will reassess its position if a formal takeover offer is made, and there was no certainty this would occur.
- Aristocrat Leisure (ALL 533c) — Yesterday they announced LL is in advanced takeover talks with a US gaming group Video Gaming Technologies (VGT) and in the final stages of due diligence. VGT designs, makes, distributes and operates gaming machines and systems in the US and Mexico. However, it notes that “there is no certainty that discussions will ultimately lead to a transaction.” AAL shares closed down 2.6% yesterday.
- Arizona (AZJ 496c) — Closed down 0.8% yesterday after announcing it had cut 103 jobs from its head office, in addition to 480 planned redundancies from its Queensland maintenance operations.
- Collins Foods (CKF 207c) — CKF said yesterday that Sizzler had begun an overhaul of its restaurants after a third straight year of weaker sales. Same store sales fell 9.3% for 26 Sizzler restaurants operated by Collins Foods Group in the year to April 27, with revenue also down 9.3% to $96 million. It said the falls were because of menu price fixing and changes being made to the business. It has recently remodelled one Sizzler restaurant to refresh the brand, and plans to roll out the new look in the year ahead. CKF shares were up 0.5% yesterday.