ASX 200 fell 49 to 6746 (0.7%). After a mixed start as SPI expired this morning, the jobs number turned us negative. Too much good news. Unemployment at 5.8% was a big beat and makes the RBA look a little overs, with the continuing stimulus. Same applies to the US with Fed forecasts now of 6.5% and still pumping money in. The Bank Basket flopped to $164.34 with CBA off 1.6% and SUN down 2.3%. MQG stayed strong up 0.1%. Industrials slipped as bond yields rose again. CSL down 1.9%, TCL down 2.1% and REITS under pressure. WOW down 1.5% and in techs APT eased 1.8% with XRO down 1.6%. The AllTech Index fell 0.78%. Big miners slipped slightly, BHP down 0.8% and RIO off 0.9% but gold miners found bargain hunters with solid gains across the sector. Small gold miners especially firm, DEG up 9.4% and BGL up 9.8% with GOR doing well too up 7.3%. In corporate news, MND down 2.1%, secured a services contract with FMG for five years. URW down 2.8%, completes disposal of French office buildings. Economic news on jobs dominated. The headline was 5.8% beating economists’ forecasts by a country mile. 89,000 new jobs. 10 -year bonds leapt to 1.79%. Asian markets firm on US lead, Japan up 0.8% and China up 0.7%. Dow futures up 79.

Today’s Highlights

  • ASX 200 down 49 to 6746. Closes on lows.
  • High 6806 Low 6744.
  • Jobs number lifts bond yields.
  • Big Bank Basket falls slightly to $164.34.
  • All Tech Index down 0.45%
  • Dow Futures up 79.
  • Gold steady at $2235.
  • 10-year yield rises to 1.79%
  • AUD falls back to 78.20c
  • Bitcoin pushed back to US$58855
  • Asian markets firm Japan up 0.8% and China up 0.7%

MARCUS STRATEGY – Another routine day in the stock market – what would we have given for this level of relaxation this time last year? The FOMC is the main story and if that’s the case there obviously isn’t much going on. A broker reiterates its SELL recommendation on APT today with a target price of $36 when the the share price is $110. At the same time another broker puts a target price of $159 on the stock on the same day. Its all about how seriously you take the CBA entry into BNPL – UBS say it highlights the risks, Morgan Stanley says its not a threat (only offered to CBA customers). We have a look at the “Jobkeeper Cliff” and who’s at risk and look at some interesting technical BUY signals, the most interesting of which are the Information Technology sector and Afterpay. READ MORE

HENRY’S TAKE – A couple that presented well at the Small Cap Conference. A look at what Jerome said after the FOMC. ‘Steady as she goes’ although the ‘Dots’ did move. Also, some thoughts on BNPL as CBA enters the fray and an explanation of why one new ETF CLNE was the biggest short in the market for a brief period. We get the answer from the horse’s mouth. Ask the Analyst tomorrow at 5 pm. READ MORE


  • BGL +9.76% DEG +9.39% GOR +7.33% gold bounce.
  • BRN +9.91% CEO issue receding.
  • SWM -4.95% not the one.
  • HZR -4.07% selling continues.
  • SYA +34.37% Tansim project study positive.
  • 4DS +% WBT +% chip stocks back.
  • PLS +% launches digital sales platform.
  • IPOs of the Day: Tulla Resources (TUL) -28.89% not an auspicious start to life on the boards. Firebird Metals (FRB) +197.5% very successful debut. Tolga Kumova at 9.14% stake.
  • Speculative stock of the day: Indoor Skly Dive Australia (IDZ) +71.43% Good volume as company announced a debt restructure and presentation.
  • Biggest Winners: AVZ, BRN, BGL, DEG, SLR, RMS and GOR.
  • Biggest Losers: ERA, GNE, CEN, SWM, PGH, FCL and ABR.


  • Monadelphous Group (MND) -2.13% Secures five-year crane services contract with Fortescue Metals Group valued at ~$150m.Transurban Group (TCL) -2.12% EU clears Transurban Group to sell 50% stake in its Transurban Chesapeake assets to AustralianSuper, CPP Investments and UniSuper. Gross proceeds of $2.8bn, the deal was announced back in December.
  • Afterpay (APT) -1.76% Announces that its fifth bi-annual Afterpay Day will include brick-and-mortar shopping for the first time and run for an extended four-day period, from March 25-28, 2021.
  • Domain (DHG) –0.91% Reportedly looking to partner with three private equity firms for a potential Link (LNK) bid. SCA Property Group (SCP) -0.42% CEO Anthony Mellowes discloses sale of 350k units. Mellowes beneficially owns 1m units following the transaction.
  • Cromwell Property Group (CMW) +0.59%Chair Jane Tongs to retire, Dr Gary Weiss appointed replacement.
  • Tabcorp (TAH) +0.21% Fox Corp reportedly working on a potential bid for parts of Tabcorp in a consortium involving other investors.


  • February labour force data: Employment change: +88,700 vs consensus +30,000. Unemployment rate: 5.8% vs consensus 6.3%. Participation rate: 66.1% vs consensus 66.1%.
  • “The strong employment growth this month saw employment rise above 13m people, and was 4,000 people higher than March 2020.
  • “Full-time employment increased by 89,000 people, of which 69,000 were women. Female full-time employment was 1.8% higher than March 2020, while male full-time employment was 0.8% below.”
  • The participation rate remained at 66.1%, with the female participation rate increasing 0.3 percentage points to 61.4% and the male participation rate falling by 0.2 percentage points to 71.0%.
  • New Zealand economy unexpectedly shrank 1% in fourth quarter. After a 13.9% surge in the third quarter, the economy is just 0.9% smaller than it was before the onset of the pandemic.


  • Vaccine Tracker: 400m doses in 132 countries. 9.64m a day. In US 113m doses at an average of 2.47m doses.



  • A top Chinese chipmaker secures US$2.4bn in government funds to build a plant.
  • President Xi wants to meet Joe if Alaskan talks go well with underlings.
  • SK Bioscience’s price doubled after the $1.3bn IPO comes as it signed deal to make vaccines for AstraZeneca


  • Bank of England meets today. Bank of Japan tomorrow.
  • Surprisingly the EU and the UK are fighting now over vaccines. Seems that Brexit goodwill ran out some time ago.
  • EC President Ursula von der Leyen said EU leaders should consider additional measures to secure vaccine supplies when they meet next week. EU could seize control of production. UK not happy Jan.
  • US facing biggest migrant surge in 20 years.
  • Suez-Veolia battle heading to court in France.

And finally….thanks to Adam for these gems…

Paddy was driving home, drunk as a skunk, when suddenly he had to swerve to avoid a tree, then another, then another. A cop car pulled him over as he veered about, all over the road. Paddy told the cop about all the trees in the road.

Cop said, “For God’s sake Paddy, that’s your air freshener swingin’ about !”

Close your eyes children

A car full of Irish nuns were sittin’ at a traffic light in downtown Dublin, when a bunch of rowdy drunks pulled up alongside of ‘em.

“Hey, show us yer teats, ya bloody penguins” shouted one of the drunks. 

Quite shocked, Mother Superior turned to Sister Mary Immaculata and said, “I don’t think they know who we are; show them your cross.”

Sister Mary Immaculata rolled down her window and shouted, “Piss off, ya bloody’ little w**kers, before I come over there and rip yer balls off.” She then rolled up her window, looked back at Mother Superior quite innocently, and asked, “Did that sound cross enough ?”