The US markets continued this week’s gains, with the major indicies finishing at all-time highs. The S&P500 closed above 2,700 for the first time, the Dow edged towards closing just below 25,000, and the Nasdaq still sitting above 7,000 as the tech sector continues to rally. The energy sector performed well, with a positive lift in crude oil. The US dollar has rebounded.
In commodities, oil has risen 2 per cent, while gold has fallen.
US economic news
Mortgage applications went up marginally by 0.7 per cent last week. Refinance applications increased 1.4 per cent and applications to purchase a home edged down 0.1 per cent.
Local economic news
The AIG will release the services index for December, which has edged over the last nine months.
Wall Street closed in the green yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4 per cent to close at 24,923, the S&P 500 added 0.6 per cent to close at 2,713 and the NASDAQ rose 0.8 per cent to close at 7,066.
European markets closed mixed: London’s FTSE lost 0.1 per cent, Paris gained 0.3 per cent and Frankfurt added 0.5 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei dropped 0.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.2 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite increased 0.6 per cent.
And back home, the Australian share market closed flat yesterday: The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed flat to finish at 6,070.
Australia’s futures market is 32 points higher.
Chocolate brand Yowie (ASX:YOW) has slashed its full year sales guidance to 17 per cent from 55 per cent after reporting disappointing revenue performance, with flat sales in the US and Canada. Net sales in North America was down 12 per cent for the first half of the financial year compared to the same time last year. Discovery World was budgeted to add US$3 million, but is now expected to fall short. The company has also appointed a new Global Chief Executive Officer, Mark Schessler, who joined the company’s 18 months ago as the Global COO and Head of Yowie North America, replacing Bert Alfonso who will step down from the CEO position. It was the worst performing stock yesterday, with shares in Yowie (ASX:YOW) closing 33 per cent to 14 cents.
One company is going ex-dividend today: Thorn Group (ASX:TGA) is paying 1 cent fully franked.
One Australian Dollar at 8:30AM was buying 78.37 US cents, 58.01 Pence Sterling, 88.18 Yen and 65.25 Euro cents.
Gold has lost $2.10 to $US1,314 an ounce.
Silver has lost $0.05 to $US17.16 an ounce.
Oil has gained $1.41 to $US61.78 a barrel.
Bitcoin has gained 0.6 per cent in the last 24 hours to $15,158.
Ethereum gained about 6 per cent to $933.
And Litecoin has lost just under 4 per cent to $246.