Yet another solid day in paradise to finish up 28 points at 5412 for a rise this week of 145 points or 2.8%. Once again the rally was focussed on the financials but good to see miners joining in despite falls in the iron ore price and gold. Anyway BHP Billiton Limited (A$33.74, +0.3%),RIO Tinto Limited (A$60.05, +0.3%) and Independence Group NL (A$4.46, +0.7%) all posting solid gains as did energy stocks Origin Energy Limited (A$14.32, +1.2%),Beach Energy Limited (A$1.30, +1.6%),Oil Search Limited (A$8.61, +0.1%) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (A$40.05, +0.2%). We had an mid-morning panic attack as an Ebola case was reported in NYC. First in the Big Apple. It was in a doctor returning from treating Ebola victims in West Africa so not completely out of the blue but again a small trading range of 35 points as lots of brokers chasing clients for their Medibank applications.

In the industrial space Telstra Corporation Limited (A$5.50, unch) eased after its good run this week on comments from Thodey on margins pressure due to Asian expansion goals but most other stocks and sectors were in the green. Wesfarmers Limited (A$42.50, +0.6%) outperforming Woolworths Limited (A$34.83, -0.1%) yet again. Even Metcash Limited (A$2.78, +1.5%) joined the grocery fun with Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (A$8.71, +0.2%),Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory Co.Hold.Ltd (A$8.30, +3.8%) and Treasury Wine Estates Limited (A$4.55, +1.3%) completing the Xmas hamper. Healthcare stocks were buoyed by ResMed Inc. (A$5.72, +6.5%) results today ,Sonic Healthcare Limited (A$18.35, +0.8%),Ramsay Health Care Limited (A$51.60, +1.0%),Csl Limited (A$75.66, +1.0%) and Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (A$0.74, +5.7%) all looking the business.

Hitting the front today were Bradken Limited (A$3.59, +6.5%),ResMed Inc. (A$5.72, +6.5%),Leighton Holdings Limited (A$21.07, +5.4%),Downer EDI Limited (A$4.70, +3.5%),UGL Limited (A$6.44, +4.0%),Qantas Airways Limited (A$1.425, +3.6%) and AMP Limited (A$5.56, +3.2%) in the biggies and FAR Limited (A$0.115, +9.5%),#ADO# and Mortgage Choice Limited (A$2.65, +6.0%) in the small ones. Bringing up the rear were Northern Star Resources Ltd (A$1.235, -7.8%),Oceanagold Corporation (A$2.34, -4.1%),Ten Network Holdings Limited (A$0.235, -4.1%),Greencross Limited (A$8.93, -3.0%) and #XRO# in the fullstrengths and MaxiTRANS Industries Limited (A$0.70, -17.6%),Sundance Resources Limited (A$0.061, -4.7%) and Lynas Corporation Limited (A$0.068, -6.8%) in the midstrengths. Volume was pretty dire still at around $3.2bn with the Aussie dollar at 87.57 and Bitcons taking a hit at $401.Aussie Gold price at finding it tough going at around $1403.

Asian markets were mixed but Japan as usual punching the lights out up 0.9% with HK down 0.14% and Shanghai up 0.16%

Stocks and Stories

AMP Limited (A$5.56, +3.2%) Great result today, more than doubling cash flows into its wealth management arm and retaining more policy holders in its life insurance division. Australian wealth management net cash flow for the quarter was $476 million, more than twice the $206 million recorded in the same period last year.
Total assets under management grew to $105.2 billion, up from $103.8 billion for the June quarter.

ResMed Inc. (A$5.72, +6.5%) said its first quarter revenue increased by 6 per cent to $US380 million, which was buoyed by recent product launches. Revenue outside of the Americas rose 11 per cent on a constant currency basis to $US173.2 million in the quarter. Revenue in the Americas rose at a slower pace of 3 per cent, to $US207.2 million

Carsales.Com Limited (A$10.41, +3.5%) AGM news FY14 pcp growth in revenue of 10%, EBITDA of 15% and NPAT of 14%.

BHP Billiton Limited (A$33.74, +0.3%) AGM and no sign of the capital management moves that the big holders are after. Jac Nasser ,the chairman, said that without a strong balance sheet, “someone else is determining your destiny”. So the split is on but seems special divs and buybacks may be some way off.

Retail Food Group Limited (A$4.86, +0.4%) Retail Food Group has acquired coffee chain Gloria Jean’s Group for $163.5 million and is seeking to raise $40 million to fund the purchase.

No royal commission into the CBA financial planning scandal. I mean why would they?

The Flying Kangaroo is back as Big Al Joyce has announced that they have made money for a change. Easing competition on international routes and no let up in sacking people and getting costs down.

And in a shock development who would have though Big Brother would be a ratings disaster for NINE. Der! Its rubbish. Friday night episode pulled again. What will I do!

Tomorrow’s News Today

Interesting weekend ahead as the ECB stress tests will be announced.11 fails seems to be the magic number. We shall see but you should never ask a question that you do not know the answer to!150 banks taking the test.

Amazon had a shocker. Nearly half a billion dollars lost in the last quarter!!! Another one with the stock down after hours in the US by 13%!Remains to be seen whether they can get off the canvas during normal hours. It posted its biggest quarterly loss since 2003 .Operating expenses rose to $14.6bn from $12.4bn in the same three months of 2013 after chief executive Jeff Bezos embarked on a spending spree.

With NYC ‘s first victim of Ebola,one man’s misery is another man’s gain as Japanese companies that make anti-virus suits and protective clothing are in big demand in Tokyo. Makers of products such as air purifiers and masks as well as Fujifilm – whose anti-influenza drug has emerged as a potential treatment for Ebola patients – all rose on the news.

Like this is going to happen! The UK has been told it must pay an extra £1.7bn (2.1bn euros) towards the European Union’s budget because of the country’s relative economic health.

Airbnb is valued at $13bn!

South Korean economic growth has rebounded after a setback, signalling consumer spending and economic confidence have returned after the government moved to spur activity with fiscal and economic stimulus. GDP has grown 0.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

Down the back of the sofa perhaps? Tesco said the month-long investigation by forensic accountants at Deloittes had established that its first-half profits had been artificially inflated by £263m, rather than the £250m.Poor old Warren. Profits down 92%,Chairman falls on his trolley and bonuses withheld.

Have a great weekend