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Morning Bell 2 March

Grady Wulff
March 2, 2023

Rising bond yields fuelled the sell-off on Wall Street overnight with the benchmark 10-year yield topping 4% for the first time since November, while the 1-year Treasury yield climbed above 5%. Investors also reassessed the outlook for tightening monetary policy and economic growth as key data has been released around the world showing inflation continues to remain stubbornly high in Europe and other key regions. The Dow Jones closed up 0.02%, while the S&P500 fell 0.47% and the Nasdaq fell 0.66%. Salesforce shares soared 13% on Wednesday after the cloud software company posted better-than-expected fourth quarter and full year results including Q4 revenue up 14% to US$8.38bn, while full year revenue rose 22%. The company’s strong results were attributed to cost cutting measures including laying off staff during the quarter as it pushes to become more profitable.

Over in Europe economic data continues to weigh on investor sentiment in the region with local markets there closing mostly lower on Wednesday following the release of a flash estimate into Germany’s harmonised inflation rate showing an increase from 9.2% to 9.3% in February. This comes ahead of Eurozone inflation due out on Tuesday. Germany’s DAX fell 0.39%, the French CAC lost almost half a percent, and in the UK the FTSE100 rose almost half a perfect on Wednesday.

Global markets may face some relief today though buoyed by China releasing its official purchasing managers’ index data for February overnight showing a rise to 52.6 points in February, the highest since April 2012, in a sign the world’s second largest economy is beginning to ramp up manufacturing and overall operations following the removal of its harsh COVID restrictions.

What to watch today:

  • In commodities, oil is trading 0.66% higher at US$77.55/barrel, gold is up 0.56% at US$1837/ounce and iron ore is flat at US$126/tonne.
  • The Aussie dollar is buying US$0.68, 92.01 Japanese Yen, 56.07 British Pence and NZ$1.08.
  • The local market slipped into the red yesterday after Australian GDP data for Q4 was released, showing the economy grew 0.5% over the quarter, which is a slower pace than was expected. This is the fifth straight quarter of growth in the economy but the softest pace in the period amid intense cost-of-living pressures and rising interest rates.
  • Ahead of the local trading session here in Australia, the SPI futures are anticipating the ASX to open flat on the second last trading session of the week.
  • Stocks trading ex-dividend today include Baby Bunting (ASX:BUB), Woolworths (ASX:WOW), Propel Funeral Partners (ASX:PFP), Coles Group (ASX:COL), Pro Medicus (ASX:PME), Medibank Private (ASX:MPL), Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN). If you’ve been thinking about these stocks it might be worth considering buying in today as stocks trading ex-dividend generally trade lower on the ex-dividend date.

Trading Ideas:

  • Trading Central has identified a bullish signal on Deep Yellow (ASX:DYL) following the formation of a pattern over a period of 22-days which is roughly the same amount of time the share price may rise from the close of $0.68 to the range of $0.90 to $0.96 according to standard principles of technical analysis.
  • Bell Potter has downgraded its price target on Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB) to 29cps but maintains a hold rating on this company following the release of the infant formula company’s first half results that focused on costs eating into margins. For the half, Bub’s reported revenue down 6%, an underlying EBITDA loss of $22m, elevated inventory position of $8.4m and expect higher operating cost assumptions between FY23-25.

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