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Well, that tore the wind out of our sails.

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All was going swimmingly as we cruised to a high of 5332 following good Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.15, +0.8%) numbers, better resource stocks and a stable banking environment helped before the crunch of reality as jobs numbers came in at 6% with full time jobs losses not gains. Economists(Palm readers) got it wrong as usual. In the end the market closed pretty much unchanged at 5308 down 2. The shock and horror was enough to get Joe Hockey up and talking, enough to whack the rampant Aussie dollar and enough to wallop our market. It was always going to be tough to continue the pace of gains after our straight line rise from 5062.Was nearly 5 in a row!

Anyway pretty mixed in the sectors as results coming faster than boats under Kevin Rudd. Financials weaker on jobs numbers making potential bad debt issues whilst BHP Billiton Limited (A$37.32, +0.3%),RIO Tinto Limited (A$67.83, -0.4%),Bluescope Steel Limited (A$5.85, +1.4%),Iluka Resources Limited (A$9.22, +1.2%) all better although Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$5.62, -1.6%) continues to suffer a little despite Iron Ore picking up. RIO are reporting this evening and expecting some upside surprises to both BHP(Feb 18) and RIO. Consumer staples were in demand with Wesfarmers Limited (A$43.17, +0.3%) and Woolworths Limited (A$35.30, +0.8%) improving but industrials generally were very stocks specific. Qantas Airways Limited (A$1.185, +6.3%) had a good day as it seems that Uncle Joe is coming to the aid of the limping Kangaroo. Apparently QAN is a special case. Ford, Holden, Toyota or SPC not special for obvious reasons. Having said that, the Victorian Government is coming to the rescue of the fruit people with $22m over 3 years. Still trying to work out how it is that I can buy 8 tins of Tomatoes all the way from Italy for the same price as a banana smoothie at the Boathouse in Palm Beach! It must cost more than a buck for a tin of tomatoes. Dumping. You bet!

The market was dominated by results today with sloppy conditions elsewhere.

Landing the front side backflip 360 were Western Areas Limited (A$3.14, +4.7%),Qantas Airways Limited (A$1.185, +6.3%),Newcrest Mining Limited (A$11.26, +2.9%),McMillan Shakespeare Limited (A$11.57, +4.7%),Sandfire Resources NL (A$6.36, +1.9%),Trade Me Group Limited (A$3.68, +3.1%) and Wotif.com Holdings Limited (A$2.70, +2.3%). Whilst crashing out on the half pipe were Goodman Fielder Limited (A$0.585, -7.1%),Primary Health Care Limited (A$4.55, -5.4%),Skilled Group Limited (A$2.97, -3.9%),United Overseas Australia Limited (A$0.535, +0.9%),Oceanagold Corporation (A$2.44, -2.8%),Yancoal Australia Limited (A$0.695, -3.5%) and #MLT#. Volume was the new normal around $4.3bn with the dollar falling to 89.50 and the Digital Tulip continuing to plunge to $564.

Asian markets were sloppy before taking the plunge and easing back as we continue to see outflows of funds from emerging markets. Slightly less high profile but leaving non the less. Tokyo down 1.7% Shanghai up a smidge and Karachi doing well up 1.66%.Not even sure where Karachi is. Had to Google map it!

Stocks and Stories

Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.15, +0.8%) Good result today although question marks over the NBN(No Bloody Network) remain. Good rise in profits of around 10% ensured shareholders were rewarded with their first dividend increase in years to 14.5cents.Hardl the stuff of dreams but a step in the right direction .

Optus has reported a 41.4 per cent rise in year-on-year profit, despite falling revenue and weakness in mobile phone subscriptions.

Webjet Limited (A$3.16, +26.4%) Wait a minute, didn’t these guys have a huge fall from grace. And then today profit was better than expected! Revenue up 64%.Debt free. Cloud integration going well and increased dividend to 6.25c

Transurban Group (A$6.83, +0.1%) increased its full year dividend guidance as it reported flat half year net profits of $80.9 million.

David Jones Limited (A$3.11, -1.0%) total sales rose 4.7 per cent to $618.1 million in the January quarter, the best rate of growth since 2010, as strong growth from the retailer’s online store augmented gains from bricks and mortar stores.and apparently now Paul Zahra is staying. Nowhere else made him and offer!!

Newcrest Mining Limited (A$11.26, +2.9%) announced no intention to raise fresh equity! Stock reporting tomorrow!

Maca Ltd in a trading halt pending some bad news as weather related issues in WA look to upset things a little.

ASX Limited (A$36.25, +1.6%) Good results today from our market place following a pickup in new offers and issues. They recorded a $189.6 million half-year profit, up 10.6 per cent from a year earlier.

Operating revenue was $329.3 million, up 8 per cent.

Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory Co.Hold.Ltd (A$8.74, -4.8%) Offer closed with the Mounties getting 88% of their man and announcing they would continue to have the business listed! Not sure why and at some stage I am asure they will work that out for themselves as they move to mop it up. But until then .Enjoy!

Unemployment numbers! Ouch !Reality bites! 7100 full-time positions lost and 3400 part-time jobs added.6%, worse in ten years.

Tomorrows’ News Today

Comcast Corp agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. for about $44 billion, combining the largest two U.S. cable companies in an all-stock deal, according to four people familiar with matter.

RIO reporting as we speak. Expect a good number with underlying earnings expected to increase about 4.3 per cent to $US9.7 billion, up from $US9.303 billion for 2012 and an increased dividend. 8.4 per cent increase in the full-year dividend to $US1.81.

As yet another monster snow storm looks set to ravage the east coast of the US, this will likely distort economic numbers for some time to come. And in the UK there is massive flooding causing massive damage and disruptions. Big damage bill to come.

Also in the UK, Manchester United have reported their profit numbers, better than their on-field performance, second quarter results provided a bright spot with revenue for the last three months of 2013 rising to £122.9m, in line with analyst forecasts, thanks to rising TV and commercial deals. Adjusted core earnings before charges such as interest and tax was 1.6pc ahead at £51m for the period

Italy’s Democratic Party is due to hold a crisis meeting amid speculation that Prime Minister Enrico Letta could be replaced by his younger rival. Happens to us all!

And in news from our Doppelganger, Canada has revoked its scheme whereby rich mainly Chinese can buy citizenship and a home with just $1.6m worth of assets and giving half of that as a loan to the Government, interest free for five years.May be enough to pop their housing bubble as their house prices are 88% (Price compared to rents) overvalued compared to long term averages. Seems that 59,000 “investors” in the scheme will have to think again as their applications torn up! Australia is only 52% overvalued on the same matrix.

However the most frightening news of the day is that Shane Warne is working on an album of love songs!! The Horror! The Horror!

That is all

Clarence

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