US equities closed in the green overnight, trying to recover some ground after the Wall Street had its worst week of the year. The Dow gained 0.2%, the S&P500 up 0.3% and the Nasdaq rose 0.6%. These moves came as Treasury yields eased, following a jump on Friday. We’re seeing a renewed focus on inflation and again seeing rates driving equities. Investors are also looking ahead to another week in retail earnings.
European equities were also higher, with all major benchmarks in positive territory. And the European Central Bank has stated that it’ll be hiking rates by another 50 basis points in March, so investors are preparing for that announcement this month.
What to watch today:
- The Australian market is looking to start the day higher. The SPI futures are suggesting a rise of 0.47% at the open.
- Reporting season is wrapping up today with the final list of companies set to release their earnings reports today. Some of these companies include DGL Group (ASX:DGL), Mach7 Technologies (ASX:M7T) and Tyro Payments (ASX:TYR). So, with one day to go, this reporting season we’ve seen 268 companies report their earnings. 80 of these beat expectations, 107 were in line with expectations, and 81 companies missed expectations. It’s also been a busy month for brokers – we saw a total of 50 rating upgrades and 38 rating downgrades.
- Keep watch of the stock going ex-dividend today, as this often sees their share prices fall as investors take their profits. These include Amcor (ASX:AMC), Accent Group (ASX:AX1), Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA), Domino’s Pizza (ASX:DMP), Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN), Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) and Worley (ASX:WOR).
- In commodities, oil is down, as lingering concerns about a recession-driven demand downturn offset prospects of tighter global supplies. Gold is higher, however still hovering at its weakest level in two months, and iron ore has dropped more than 1.5%, so watch iron ore stocks today.
- Bell Potter have a Hold rating on Appen (ASX:APX) and have lowered their price target from $3 to $2.25. The company’s 2022 revenue fell 3% to US$388.5 million, which was slightly below Bell Potter’s forecast of US$393.8 million. Underlying EBITDA fell 39%, but was in line with Bell’s forecast.
- Bell Potter also maintains their Buy rating on Accent Group (ASX:AX1), after the company beat expectations for H1 and H2 trading has commenced on strong note. AX1 reported EBIT of $81 million, NPAT of $50.7 million and dividends per share of 12cps.