The market is up five points.
The Dow Jones was down 21 points at 16,846 — The market recovered early losses, after being down as much as 121 points following disappointing consumer spending data, to finish down 21. The Financial sector was one of the weakest, with Barclays down 7.38% after the New York Attorney General announced fraud charges. Consumer Staples and Industrials were also weaker. The Utilities and Energy sectors were the best performers. Volume was below average and the market traded in an 126 point range.
US economic data was weaker — Personal spending rose less than expected, rising only 0.2%, which will lead to downward revisions to second quarter GDP estimates. Weekly jobs claims were higher than expected, but the trend is improving. Other releases were in line.
Fed Speak — St Louis Fed President James Bullard suggested rates could rise earlier than expected, commenting that “We are pretty close to normal, I don’t think policymakers, markets have digested that” in relation to labour market conditions.
European shares were mixed — The German DAX was down 0.64% and the French CAC was down 0.47% but the UK FTSE was up 0.02%.
The Aussie dollar was stronger and is currently trading at US94.12c.
Gold fell US$5.60 or 0.42% to US$1317.00c a tonne.
Oil was down US$0.66 or 0.62% to US$105.84 a barrel.
Base metals were mostly stronger — Copper was up 0.70%, zinc rose 0.49% and nickel was up 1.27%. But aluminium was down 0.20.
Iron ore rose US$1.60 to US$95.30 a tonne.
No Australian economic events today.
Dividends today — Metcash (MTS) — 9c.
Japanese data today —inflation, unemployment, household spending and retail trade.
Global economic data tonight — US University of Michigan Sentiment Index. European business confidence and sentiment.
- Fairfax Media (FXJ 92.5c) and APN News & Media (APN 80c) have announced a printing agreement in New Zealand where APN would provide printing services to Fairfax in New Zealand for several newspapers at its Ellerslie facility in Auckland’s south. Work currently performed at Fairfax’s Auckland and Hamilton print sites would transition into the Ellerslie facility within three months starting from August 2014. APN in New Zealand publishes The New Zealand Herald and its associated titles, as well as seven regional daily newspapers and more than 40 community newspapers. Fairfax Media in New Zealand publishes three metro newspapers including The Dominion Post, and The Press in Christchurch, six regional daily newspapers and more than 60 community newspapers.
- Tabcorp (TAH 360c) and Tatts Group (TTS 312c) — TAH closed up 6.2% yesterday and TTS closed up 4.35% in the lead u to a decision by the Victoria Supreme Court in relation to the expiration of the companies’ gaming machine licences. The Court found in favour of the government in relation Tabcorp’s compensation claim for non-renewal. They are expected to appeal the decision. The Court found in favour of Tatts regarding its compensation claim for $451 million against the Victorian government for the non-renewal of the gaming licence.
- AGL Energy (AGK 1561c) — The Australian competition tribunal has overturned a decision by the ACCC, allowing AGL’s $1.5 billion bid to buy two NSW state-owned power stations. AGK shares closed up 2.8% yesterday.
- Caltex (CTX 2171c) Shares closed up 0.6% yesterday after announced it expects full year operating profit after tax of $155-175 million, from $171 million in the pcp. EBIT is expected to be 7-8% higher at $390-395m in the half. The Kurnell conversion into a fuel-import terminal remains on schedule and the refinery is expected to close in the fourth quarter 2014. The impact of the conversion on refinery operations will contribute to a Refining and Supply first half loss of $65-85 million.
- Monash IVF (MVF 190.5c) – Closed +2.97% yesterday at 190.5c on its first day of trading, listing at 185c and reaching an intra-day high of 197c.