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Morning Bell 17 August

Grady Wulff
August 17, 2023

Wall Street extended its red run into Wednesday as investors digested the latest FOMC meeting minutes that included some Fed officials saying further rate hikes may be needed to bring inflation down to the target. The meeting minutes also outlined the current robustness in the economy shown through recent third quarter GDP estimates and retail sales data are not what the Fed wants to see. The Dow Jones fell just over half a percent on Wednesday, the S&P500 lost 0.76% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 1.15%.

TJX Companies rose 4% after the discount retailer beat Wall St expectations for Q2, while Target rallied 4% even after the retailer cut its full-year earnings forecast and second quarter sales fell short of expectations.

Over in Europe, markets closed lower in the region as investors assessed the latest inflation data out of the UK. The reading of inflation came in at 6.8%, which was a sharp decline from 7.9% in June mainly due to a slump in fuel prices. This reading was in line with expectations which poses a headache for the Bank of England as inflation is showing signs of cooling but wages growth yesterday continues to rise.

Locally, the ASX fell 1.5% on Wednesday after taking lead from the US on Tuesday and as investors digested the latest slew of poor economic data out of China indicating the economic recovery in the region remains sluggish. Information technology stocks took the biggest hit locally yesterday, though every sector closed the midweek session in the red.

Endeavour Group fell over 4% on Wednesday despite the company reporting FY23 results that fell short of analysts’ expectations. Investors may have sold out after the company failed to issue outlook for FY24 but FY23 turned out strong with NPAT up 6.9% to $529m and the full year dividend up 7.9% to 21.8cps.

What to watch today:

  • Ahead of the local trading session the SPI futures are anticipating the ASX to open 0.32% lower, extending yesterday’s losses into Thursday’s trading session.
  • On the commodities front this morning oil is down 1.99% at US$79.38/barrel, gold is down 0.53% at US$1891.55/ounce and iron ore is up almost half a percent at US$104/tonne.
  • AU$1.00 US$0.64, 93.95 Japanese yen, 51.22 British pence and NZ$1.08.

Trading Ideas:

  • Bell Potter has increased the price target on Life360 (ASX:360) from $9.25 to $10.50 and maintain a buy rating on the location services and hardware technology company following the release of the company’s first half results including revenue and adjusted EBITDA beating Bell Potter expectations. Life360 also announced total paying circles were up 62,000 quarter-on-quarter which nearly doubled what BP was expecting and cash as at June 30 was $64.2m which also beat forecasts.
  • And Trading Central has identified a bullish signal on Australian Clinical Labs (ASX:ACL) following the formation of a pattern over a period 58-days which is roughly the same amount of time the share price may rise from the close of $3.27 to the range of $3.71 to $3.81 according to standard principles of technical analysis.

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