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Morning Bell 17 July

Grady Wulff
July 17, 2023

Wall Street closed mixed on Friday as earnings season kicked off in the US with a few big names posting better-than-expected results. This reporting period is particularly important in the eye of investors as to see how well US companies have performed during the high inflation, high interest rate environment. The Dow Jones rose 0.33%, while the S&P500 fell 0.1% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.18% on Friday. For the week though, the three key indices posted gains with the Dow Jones adding 2.3%, the S&P rising 2.4% and the Nasdaq adding 3.3%.

UnitedHealth shares jumped more than 7% on Friday after the insurance company reported better-than-expected adjusted earnings and revenue for the first half. JPMorgan Chase also rose 0.6% after the big bank’s second quarter earnings also topped expectations.

Over in Europe, markets ended a 5-session winning streak on Friday with most closing lower, weighed down by sell-offs in oil and gas, and mining stocks. Investors had last week been assessed data out of the UK indicating wages grew by 7.3% in the three months to May, which is a significant concern for the Bank of England as it tackles the worst inflation among the group of seven nations including the US, Canada and France among others. The STOXX600 lost 0.1% on Friday, Germany’s DAX fell 0.22%, the French CAC added 0.06%, and in the UK, the FTSE100 fell 0.08%.

Locally on Friday, the key index rose 0.78% driven by a rally for technology stocks with the sector adding 1.68%, while communication services and materials stocks also had a strong session with each adding 1.66% and 1.35% respectively.

Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX) rose 5.33% on Friday despite no price sensitive news out of the company on Friday, while Netwealth Group (ASX:NWL) fell 5.4% likely due to investors taking profits following the release of the company’s quarterly update including a record level of funds under administration.

What to watch today:

  • Ahead of the local trading session here in Australia, the SPI futures are expecting the ASX to open 0.03% lower.
  • On the commodities front this morning oil is trading 0.67% lower at US$74.91/barrel, uranium is down 0.45% at US$55.40/pound, gold is down 0.3% at US$1954/ounce and iron ore is up 4% at US$117/tonne.
  • AU$1.00 is buying US$0.68, 94.88 Japanese Yen, 52.46 British Pence, NZ$1.07.

Trading Ideas:

  • Bell Potter has decreased the 12-month price target on RMA Global (ASX:RMY) from 21 cps to 18 cps and maintain a speculative buy rating on the emerging digital marketing business for real estate agents, following the release of the company’s Q4 update for FY23 including US claimed profiles growing to 259K, US reviews increasing to 722K, and subscription revenue of $3.6m. The reason for the decrease in price target is due to the Bell Potter analyst expecting US subscriber volumes to moderate due to the ongoing heightened interest rate environment.
  • And Trading Central has identified a bullish signal on Woodside Energy (ASX:WDS) following the formation of a pattern over a period of 272 days which is roughly the same amount of time the share price may rise from the close of $36.28 to the range of $45.00 to $47.00 according to standard principles of technical analysis.

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