Daily Market Reports | Oct 26 2016
This story features BEGA CHEESE LIMITED, and other companies. For more info SHARE ANALYSIS: BGA
By Greg Peel
The Dow closed down 53 points or 0.3% while the S&P lost 0.4% to 2143 and the Nasdaq fell 0.5%.
The AGM season claimed another victim on the local market yesterday. Bega Cheese ((BGA)) shares fell 17%. Clearly the company was wrong in believing the Chinese market is insatiable.
Not content to continuing selling just its well-known cheese products, Bega had decided to hook up with Blackmores ((BKL)), which clearly was not content to only sell dietary supplements. The two took on the Chinese infant formula market, where already there are a crowd of A&NZ milk companies operating, and found it oversupplied.
The other big loser on the day is a tragic story. Ardent Leisure ((AAD)) fell 8% very late in the session so there may be more to come.
Otherwise, having surprised all and sundry by falling so heavily on Monday, the ASX200 again defied overnight futures trading in jumping back up 47 on the open before settling up 34. It was more of a step-jump than a rally, which again prompts the question what on earth was going on on Monday.
The banks clearly led the market up yesterday in what is a traditional seasonal pattern. The 0.8% sector gain reflects the fact there are three juicy dividends on offer (albeit maybe less than in previous years), and you need to get in now if you want a piece of the action. Then you sell in December and switch into CBA on the different cycle.
All sectors finished in the green yesterday bar consumer staples, thanks to Bega and friends, and energy, which dipped slightly on lower oil.
Having reset, the market will now look ahead to today’s September quarter CPI number, which will set the agenda for RBA policy and determine whether the Aussie goes higher or lower. Economists are looking for 0.5% headline growth for 1.1% year on year, and 0.4% core growth for 1.7% year on year.
Russia is now apparently wavering on a production freeze agreement with OPEC. The WTI price thus slipped under US$50/bbl last night which was one source of weakness on Wall Street.
US consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level since May, according to the Conference Board monthly measure. It’s not great news for retailers with the Thanksgiving shopping spree now only a month away. But it is typical of confidence to dip going into a presidential election, and the bizarre offering this time around is more reason to be cautious.
The main reason Wall Street was lower last night centred around earnings season. It is not third quarter earnings that are the issue, as they continue to point to the first positive result for the S&P500 in six quarters. It is fourth quarter guidance which, given all the uncertainty in the world at this time, has been disappointing in many cases.
Among the Dow stocks, consumer staple stalwart Proctor & Gamble has been a popular stock to hide one’s money in this year and it did not disappoint, rising 3%. But despite posting positive results, all of 3M, DuPont and Home Depot shares fell on underwhelming guidance.
Outside the Dow, Whirlpool went down one, falling 11% on weak, Brexit-impacted UK sales. General Motors suffered the same fate, and fell 4%. High flyer Under Armour fell 13% and had Wall Street wondering whether the “athleisure” bubble has now burst.
Add it all up and the Dow fell 50 points. On Monday night it rallied 70 points. With PEs looking stretched and December quarter earnings guidance failing to provide support, the upside currently appears limited. With funds managers lined up to swoop on any weakness so they can put money to work on a TINA basis, the downside appears limited.
As Gerry Rafferty would put it, here I am, stuck in the middle with you.
Forecasts this week are for a build in US crude inventories following a couple of weeks of surprise drawdowns.
Forecasts are never right.
Throw in doubt over Russia and West Texas crude is down US81c at US$49.82/bbl.
Between environmental shutdowns forced by the governments of China and the Philippines, and economy-based restrictions in Indonesia, the supply of bulks and base metals is expected to be constrained going forward. Yet there appears no constraint on Chinese demand, which is on the rise.
Last night lead and nickel rose over 1% and aluminium, copper and zinc rose over 2%.
Iron ore has jumped up US$2.90 or 5% to US$61.60/t.
We are entering one of the two holiday periods in which Indians typically exchange gifts of gold. Outside of monetary policy influences, such demand from India can be a real mover of the dial for the gold price. Last night gold rose US$9.40 to US$1273.40/oz.
The rally in gold, and indeed other commodities, may also lend itself to creeping belief the recent run-up in the US dollar has come to an end for now. The greenback has adjusted to the expectation of a December Fed rate hike and now must wait for confirmation. The dollar index has been flat for a few sessions in a row now, which suggests it might just be ready to tip over. It is little changed this morning at 98.73.
On commodity price strength, the Aussie is up 0.4% at US$0.7641.
The SPI Overnight closed down 12 points or 0.2%. Seems strange in the face of commodity price strength but the SPI’s been no sort of indicator these last few sessions.
The local CPI result is due late morning.
Wesfarmers ((WES)) will report quarterly sales figures. While Coles will be in focus as always, don’t forget Wesfarmers also produces coal.
Rudi will gear up in the afternoon to host Your Money, Your Call on Sky Business tonight, 8-9.30pm.
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