On Wall Street, US stocks hit record highs after retail giant, Wal-Mart, announced a $20 billion buyback. The Dow hit a record high early in the trading session, while the tech heavy Nasdaq also touched an all-time high, before softening.
Wal-Mart also plans to add 1,000 online grocery pick up locations next financial year. Its news fuelled the rally, while news from Honeywell, also added to the charge. Honeywell unveiled it would split into two, with its Home Products and Transportation Systems businesses to become two separate public companies by the end of next year.
All this corporate news comes just as most major companies are getting ready to release their quarterly results.
On the commodities front, oil prices rose 2.7 per cent, settling back above the US$50.00 mark, while the iron ore price rose modestly.
Taking all of this into consideration, our local market is set to bound ahead today, and with no local economic news to watch out for, ASX announcements will be eyed closely.
Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3 per cent to close at 22,831, the S&P 500 added 0.23 per cent to close at 2,551 and the NASDAQ gained 0.1 per cent to close at 6,587.
European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE added 0.4 per cent, Paris lost 0.04 per cent and Frankfurt lost 0.2 per cent.
Asian markets closed higher: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.6 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.6 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite increased by 0.3 per cent.
And back home, the Australian share market closed flat yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 1 points down to finish at 5,738.
On the futures market the SPI is 15 points up/down.
A leading provider of car parts and accessories, Bapcor (ASX:BAP) says it increased its inventory provisions on its balance sheet to proactively manage aged, obsolete and slow moving inventory. Bapcor increased its provision from $24.7 million in the 2016 financial year to $54 million in FY2017. Shares in Bapcor (ASX:BAP) close 1.14 per cent lower at $5.20.
And global lithium company, Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) has formed a strategic alliance with small cap Lithium firm, Lepidico (ASX:LPD), by subscribing to 12 per cent of its shares. The $2.9 million purchase will allow the companies to share the vision of commercializing Lepidico’s lithium extraction technology, L-Max. Shares in Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) closed 3.97 per cent higher to $3.14.
2 companies are going ex-dividend today, BSA (ASX:BSA) is paying 0.5 cents fully franked, Gowing Brothers (ASX:GOW) is paying 6 cents fully franked.
One Australian Dollar at 7:45AM was buying 77.79 US cents, 58.90 Pence Sterling, 87.45 Yen and 65.86 Euro cents.
Gold has gained $5.90 to $US1,291 an ounce.
Silver has added $0.16 to $US17.14 an ounce.
Oil has added $1.32 to $US50.90 a barrel.