• After yesterday’s wobble we got back on track today with good gains across the board. New kid on the block Janet Yellen’s comments on the state of the Fed spending plans and unemployment were enough to steady the taper talk.US markets gave us a strong lead but mid-morning buying lifted us again before the afternoon waned a little to close up 37 points at 5356. Banks and financials led the way after the carnage on Wednesday. The big green blob was back with Westpac Banking Corporation (A$32.65, +1.2%),National Australia Bank Limited (A$33.78, +0.4%),Commonwealth Bank of Australia (A$77.20, +1.2%) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (A$31.84, +1.3%) all looking hot. Challenger Limited (A$6.12, +3.4%) also piled on the cents as did Macquarie Group Limited (A$53.64, +0.6%). In resource land BHP Billiton Limited (A$37.82, +0.5%),Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$5.82, +0.9%) and RIO Tinto Limited (A$65.13, +0.8%) improved as Bluescope Steel Limited (A$5.29, +6.2%) and even Newcrest Mining Limited (A$9.55, +0.8%). Gold stocks felt some love for a change despite the shiny stuff having suffered such a horrendous year and rebounding slightly on more free money hopes. Evolution Mining Limited (A$0.77, +4.1%),Papillon Resources Limited (A$1.13, +7.6%),Beadell Resources Limited (A$0.89, +6.0%),Silver Lake Resources Limited (A$0.68, +3.8%) and St Barbara Limited (A$0.34, +7.9%).
• Industrials were also better with Brambles Limited (A$9.25, +1.2%),Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (A$35.62, +1.3%),Csl Limited (A$67.60, +0.8%),Ramsay Health Care Limited (A$38.37, +2.3%),Sonic Healthcare Limited (A$16.24, +1.7%),Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.13, +0.4%),Asciano Limited (A$5.71, +1.1%),Westfield Group (A$10.89, +0.8%),Boral Limited (A$4.96, +2.3%),Adelaide Brighton Limited (A$3.79, +2.4%),Brickworks Limited (A$13.68, +2.2%) and Amcor Limited (A$11.02, +1.1%). Retailers also seem happy with the world with Myer Holdings Limited (A$2.93, +7.7%),David Jones Limited (A$3.06, +5.2%),Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (A$3.27, +1.2%) and JB Hi-Fi Limited (A$21.36, -0.7%) all benefitting from hope for the silly season sales.
• Shiny happy people today included James Hardie Industries PLC (A$12.00, +14.9%) ,Linc Energy Ltd (A$1.125, +7.1%),Energy World Corporation Ltd (A$0.435, +6.1%),Beadell Resources Limited (A$0.89, +6.0%),Myer Holdings Limited (A$2.93, +7.7%),Evolution Mining Limited (A$0.77, +4.1%),David Jones Limited (A$3.06, +5.2%) and Mount Gibson Iron Limited (A$1.08, +5.4%) whilst fearing unloved and shoved in the naughty corner were Independence Group NL (A$3.42, -6.8%),Sirius Resources NL (A$2.37, -4.0%),Sandfire Resources NL (A$5.81, -3.0%),Oz Minerals Limited (A$3.23, -3.6%),Bega Cheese Limited (A$4.45, -2.8%),Slater & Gordon Limited (A$4.11, -1.4%),APA# and WorleyParsons Limited (A$21.52, -1.4%).
• Volume was still a little on the low side but it is showing some encouraging signs. Asian markets were green across the screen baby with Tokyo leading the way despite a slowdown in export growth throwing doubts on Abenomics and the recovery plan.
Stocks and Stories
• In house stocks today Regeneus got some unexpected good news as their doggie canine vaccine was approved by the US Dept of Agriculture and companion animals.A great result for those shareholders that have stuck with the stock since we listed it a few months ago. Good bounce today from Linc Energy Ltd (A$1.125, +7.1%) which is soon to delist and start life on the Singapore exchange. Other house stocks to find favour today also included REY Resources Limited (A$0.12, +9.1%) (again), IPD and Orpheus Energy Limited (A$0.067, +4.7%).
• One of our other favourites Mesoblast Limited (A$6.15, +2.5%) also had a nice present today with some improved survival rates in children with GvHD after cell therapy.
• Blessed are the cheese makers because they will inherit more bids than they know what to do with. Today it emerged that Bega Cheese Limited (A$4.45, -2.8%) upped their bid for Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory Co.Hold.Ltd (A$9.10, unch) to 1.5shares and $2 a share. The three way tussle continues.
• Another favourite shorting stock sprang the bear trap today with James Hardie Industries PLC (A$12.00, +14.9%) releasing better than expected numbers and causing a squeeze. Almost double with Europe and US leading the way.
• Sandfire Resources NL (A$5.81, -3.0%) gave a broker presentation today. Probably regret that now!
• Once again we saw the joy of owning airlines today as Virgin tapped their big three shareholders on the shoulder for another $350 m to fight the good fight with Qantas Airways Limited (A$1.21, unch).Good to be a consumer not a shareholder as opposed to the banks where it is the opposite!
• The Abbott government has failed to win Senate approval for legislation lifting the commonwealth debt ceiling to $500 billion. Using their numbers in the upper house, Labour and the Australian Greens passed an amendment limiting the cap to $400 billion.
• Good to see that Fed Reserve chief of Dallas has become something of an expert on the Australian residential property market as he postulated that the steep price rises to homes here are due to Chinese buyers.Not sure where he gets his information from. Maybe he has opened his eyes. Shame the RBA is closeted in hits Ivory Tower. Maybe they should get out more!
• Channel Ten Network Holdings Limited (A$0.26, +4.0%) gradually slipping into irrelevance as more job cuts on the cards. I would have started at the top but hey that’s just me!
• Japanese growth halved in the last quarter at only 1.9% from July to September. Need more free money to keep the experiment alive!
Tomorrows News Today
• Expect more news from the Plenum in coming days as rhetoric gives way to concrete plans.
• Sure Woolies will love the news that Dick Smith, that they sold for $20m a year ago to private equity, is now listing with a $340 m price tag. No asset inflation here. Quick coat of paint and get back out there.
• Obama’s great legacy issue of healthcare is floundering as a mere 27,000 people appear to have taken up his offer. Not much of a legacy at all. Worth fighting congress for? Still once they get that web site thingy up and running the sky is the limit.
• Look out tomorrow for new listing Freelancer (FLN) as evidence of Techboom 2.0.We shall watch with interest. Few high profile keystone investors will have helped sentiment.
• And going back even further than Enron etc to the 1980’s boom, a Pink Diamond known as the Pink Star has sold for the highest price ever at auction of $83m! Meanwhile in the art world a Francis Bacon triptych has sold for $142m.No asset bubble here. The last one of his trio of paintings in 2008 sold for a modest $86m.66% increase .Who needs gold?
• And in the power of social media J P Morgan was hosting a ASKJPM on Twitter before the Twitterati got hold of the idea, and they had to abandon it after copping a huge amount of flak. Cannot understand why! Also it seems that Twitter is now a shorters favourite with 7% of the shares officially shorted now.
• And not sure this is going to go down that well with ze Germans. The European Commission has embarked on a review of Germany’s persistently high export surplus in a move that could lead to massive sanctions against Berlin. Wouldn’t want to upset the bankrolling of the euro zone