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Another strong start to the day gave way to apathy as the strength could not be maintained. Banks and financials , except National Australia Bank Limited (A$34.11, -0.3%), were in demand while resources had a late surge with BHP Billiton Limited (A$37.66, +0.5%) being bid up at the death and Alcoa looking the goods too.. News that the RBA kept rates on hold was no surprise and ensured the dollar rose above 93 cents briefly. As the afternoon wore on though we tried another assault on the heady heights but as the budget approaches like some sort of on coming train, punters’ hearts were not really in it. In the end we closed up 19 at 5481 with a late surge after touching 5463 and 5493 for the day. Still hanging in there then.

Good gains though across the board with Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.23, +0.4%) looking pretty damn good,Woolworths Limited (A$37.19, +1.0%) and Csl Limited ($69.64, +1.1%) also joined the fun with continued upward momentum for energy stocks especially Woodside Petroleum Limited (A$41.26, +0.7%).In resources BHP Billiton Limited (A$37.66, +0.5%) and #RIO went nowhere but Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (A$4.80, -1.2%) suffered despite news that Twiggy has bought more shares in the company.Gindalbie Metals Ltd (A$0.047, -17.5%) had a shocker today in the small caps and getting smaller space.Golds were a mixed bag with Kingsgate Consolidated Limited (A$0.895, +1.7%) slightly better but Newcrest Mining Limited (A$10.53, +0.4%) unchanged despite the better gold price.

Good gains today in the following stand outs Ten Network Holdings Limited (A$0.27, +1.9%),Mount Gibson Iron Limited (A$0.73, +2.8%),Peet Limited (A$1.22, +4.3%),Sirtex Medical Limited (A$16.09, +2.9%),M2 Telecommunications Group Limited (A$5.69, +3.8%),Flight Centre Travel Group Limited (A$53.27, +2.8%) and APN News & Media Limited (A$0.66, unch) in the bigs and #NEA# and Norton Gold Fields Limited (A$0.12, +9.1%) in the smalls.Suffering today from the slings and arrows were Lynas Corporation Limited (A$0.15, -9.1%),Transfield Services Limited (A$1.045, -3.2%),Southern Cross Media Group Limited (A$1.21, -3.6%),Donaco International Limited (A$1.16, -3.3%),#NEC#,G8 Education Limited (A$4.53, -1.7%) and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (A$11.20, -1.7%).

Volume was skimpy at around $2.6bn as we limp towards our date with ‘Jokin Joe’ next Tuesday.Gold at three week highs of $1308 ,Aussie dollar failed to sustain its rise above 93 c to be 92.70 and Digital tulips were $458

Asian markets mixed with Tokyo up a smudge,HK down 1.3% and China up half that.

Stocks and Stories

RBA kept rates on hold again. Will be the same for a while.Next move up in 2015.

Ten Network Holdings Limited (A$0.27, +1.9%) celebrated the return of Rove to our screens with a good day today.They sure have missed him and he was welcome breath of talent on the Project last night which I just happened to catch.

The biggest story of the day continued to be the all in brawl between James ‘Packer Whacker’ and David ‘Glass Jaw’ Gyngell.Good to see Lachlan(my, hasn’t he chubbed up) come to the rescue and get his dad to buy the pictures to hush it up.ooops…No that’s not quite what he did.If I was James I would have out bid Rupert, but there you go.Both Crown Resorts Limited (A$16.36, +0.1%) and #NEC# seemed to brush off the incident which will only enhance the protagonists mystic and reputations I am sure in the long run.Who is going to mess with either now!


Lynas Corporation Limited (A$0.15, -9.1%) also celebrated the return today to our screens with yet another lurch towards disaster raising money at a 17.5% discount to the previous five days and asking shareholders for $30 in an SPP.Good luck.Seemed a bit strange the title of their presentation then to see “Rare Earths-We touch them everyday”.Not quite so rare then apparently!

NIB Holdings Limited (A$2.95, +1.0%) seems too be enjoying the speculation that health funds can go all in and charge more for fatties!Given Jokin Joes shape he may knock this measure back!However as one of the only listed beneficiaries to the health dollar up she goes!

The FIRB has given the green light to the South African invasion of David Jones Limited (A$3.96, +0.3%).Sales figures were also out today and showed a huge increase in online sales of 190%(they sold two dresses!).Makes you wonder what the stores are for then?I am sure that has crossed Woolies minds too.

Leighton Holdings Limited (A$19.49, +1.8%) Leighton Holdings is predicting a potential increased profit in 2014 after reporting higher first quarter earnings and revenue.The global construction giant reiterated its guidance for an underlying net profit of $540 million to $620 million for 2014 in its latest trading update. Its 2013 underlying net profit was $584 million.

Disappointingly the second biggest show in town after James v David,the ICAC has been suspended until next week as investigators look into more Liberal party fund raising activities. Electoral funding irregularities it seems.Love Nathan!

Consumer confidence has taken a battering in the last two weeks as the Debt Levy has reared its ugly head.ANZ-Roy Morgan’s consumer confidence index saw sentiment weakened b 4.2 per cent to 106.3 points in the week ending May 4 – taking the combined two-week fall to 8 per cent.

The trade surplus narrowed in March, driven by a fall in mining exports. The surplus of $731 million disappointed economists’ expectations of a $1 billion surplus.

Tomorrows News Today

Barclays has just announced a first quarter net of 965m pounds v 934m estimates.

In M&A news,looks like France is going to oppose the GE bid for Alstrom and every investment bank is jostling for more of the Alibaba action.

Another knife attack at a Chinese railway station.Ukraine will get a little worse today too.Gold to continue to rumble around.

Not sure what brominated vegetable oil is but not sure I would be a fan of drinking it.But we have, by the bucket loads apparently, in Coca Cola. News out that they are removing it from the secret formula! Apparently they are substituting it with sucrose acetate isobutyrate or glycerol ester of rosin-sounds far more healthy!

Apparently Bill Gates is on track to be the first Trillion Dollar man!The share of America’s national wealth held by the country’s 400 richest individuals has more than tripled from less than one per cent to three per cent since the Forbes 400 list was launched in 1982.At least Bill is pretty good at giving it away.Its enough for $140 for every one on the planet!

The Euro Commission reckons the recovery has taken hold and so has forecast the Zombie economy to grow in Italy at 0.6%,Spain at 1.1% and France at 1.0%.The growth forecast for the 18-nation eurozone remains at 1.2% for 2014.Impressive numbers huh?And in case you were wondering 2015 looks pretty pathetic as well with their forecasts a down by 0.1 percentage point to 1.7%.

Biggest shock story from the UK is going to be the “Liverpool Choke”.Much like the “Glasgow Kiss” and the “Billionaires Biff” this one is set to join the modern lexicon, as they squandered a three goal lead against Crysal Palace! Probably City now for the league.

That is all