Following mixed leads from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open higher. Wall Street took a turn and traded higher yesterday with the Dow surging ahead to close 71 points higher, with the latest set of earnings reports giving investors a push. Stocks in Twitter rose 18.5 per cent after posting earnings that beat market expectations. Ford also reported better than expected quarterly results, which drove its stocks up 1.9 per cent. The Nasdaq fell flat ahead of earnings reports from tech giants yet to be released.
On the commodities front, oil is up while gold has fallen and iron ore has dropped 2 per cent.
US economic news
New home sales jumped 18.9 per cent to 667,000 in September 2017, even though the market expected a 0.9 per cent decline. This is the highest value in 10 years since October 2007 and the largest percentage increase since January 1992. Sales in the south region jumped 25.8 per cent, mainly due to the recovery from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased by 10,000 to 233,000 as of last week, slightly below market expectations of 235,000. Claims are disrupted in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands due to power outages and infrastructure damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Local economic news
Producer prices for the September quarter will be released today. The market is expecting a 0.4 per cent increase on the previous quarter. Last quarter saw a 0.5 per cent rise, slightly below market consensus of 0.6 per cent.
Wall Street closed mixed yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.31 per cent to close at 23,401, the S&P 500 added 0.13 per cent to close at 2,560 and the NASDAQ lost 0.11 per cent to close at 6,557.
European markets closed up: London’s FTSE gained 0.5 per cent, Paris increased 1.5 per cent and Frankfurt closed 1.4 per cent higher.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.15 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.4 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.3 per cent.
And back home, the Australian share market closed higher yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 11 points up to finish at 5,916.
On the futures market the SPI is 10 points up.
Wattle Health (ASX:WHA) has reported an 895 per cent growth in sales for the September quarter to more than half a million dollars ($557,000) compared to the prior corresponding period. The Australian-made nutritional products company distributed its formula range in more than 500 retail outlets nationally as well as in China. The company has finalised an acquisition with Mason Financial Holdings, one of Australia’s largest manufacturers of nutritional dairy products, as well as signing an agreement with Organic Dairy Farmers of Australia. Shares in Wattle Health (ASX:WHA) closed 5 per cent higher to $1.68.
3 companies are going ex-dividend today:
Clover Corporation (ASX:CLV) is paying 0.75 cents, Katana Capital (ASX:KAT) is paying half a cent (0.5) and Premier Investments (ASX:PMV) is paying 27 cents, all fully franked.
One Australian Dollar at 7:35AM was buying 76.63 US cents, 58.26 Pence Sterling, 87.38 Yen and 65.77 Euro cents.
Gold has lost $10.90 to $US1,268 an ounce.
Silver has lost 13 cents to $US16.80 an ounce.
Oil has gained 57 cents to $US52.75 a barrel.