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Morning Bell 21 August

Grady Wulff
August 21, 2023

Wall Street ended mixed on Friday as gains in energy and defensive sectors like consumer staples and utilities offset weakness in large growth stocks on the Nasdaq. Alphabet and Tesla fell 1.9% and 1.7% respectively as investors fear interest rates could remain higher for longer which prompted the sell-off in technology stocks. The Dow Jones rose 0.07%, the S&P500 fell 0.01% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.2%. Over the last 3 weeks, the Nasdaq has fallen 7.2%, its biggest decline since December. Beauty company Estée Lauder tumbled 3.3% on Friday after the company’s annual net sales and profit fell short of analysts’ expectations.

Over in Europe, markets closed lower across the region as investor sentiment slides on global economic concerns and further runway for tighter monetary policy. The STOXX600 fell 0.6%, Germany’s DAX lost 0.65%, the French CAC fell 0.38%, and, in the UK, the FTSE100 fell 0.65%.

Danish hearing aid manufacturer GN Store Nord fell 5.9% on Friday after JPMorgan cut its price target on the company following significant losses and weak second quarter results released on Thursday.

Locally on Friday the ASX rose just 0.03% as a 1.9% sell off among communication services stocks was offset by gains in the real estate and utilities sectors. For the week, the ASX fell 2.62% in line with the global market sell-off amid investor sentiment dampening on future rate hike outlook, slowing earnings growth out of reporting season results, and the Chinese economy continuing its sluggish growth post-pandemic.

What to watch today:

  • Ahead of the opening bell this Monday, the SPI futures are anticipating the ASX to open 0.32% lower.
  • On the commodities front this morning, oil is trading 0.06% higher at US$81.30/barrel, gold is up 0.07% at US$1890/ounce, and iron ore is up almost 1% at US$108.50/tonne.
  • Stocks trading ex-dividend today include Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX) and Steadfast Group (ASX:SDF). 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.
  • AU$1.00 is buying US$0.64, 93.12 Japanese Yen, 50.04 British Pence and NZ$1.08.

Trading Ideas:

  • Bell Potter has downgraded the rating on PWR Holdings (ASX:PWH) from a buy to a hold and maintain a $10.50 12-month price target on the leading provider of customised cooling solutions for the global automotive industry. The downgrade was following the release of FY23 results where revenue was a slight beat while gross profit and EBITDA were slight misses. The company also failed to issue any guidance for FY24 and cash at bank was lower than Bell Potter was expecting due to higher CAPEX.
  • And Trading Central has identified a bullish signal on Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL) 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 $0.72 to the range of $0.92-$0.96 according to standard principles of technical analysis.

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