On a total-return basis the S&P 500 has more than tripled from its 2009 low hit during the financial crisis. 9:05am: Local shares poised to open flat today despite the S&P 500 breaking through the 2000 barrier for the first time, while iron ore slipped below the $US90 a tonne mark. • AUD at 92. 96 US cents, 96. 70 Japanese yen, 70. 45 Euro cents and 56. 06 British pence. • On Wall St, S&P 500 +0. 5%, Dow +0. 5%, Nasdaq +0. • In Europe, Euro Stoxx 50 +2. 2%, FTSE closed, CAC +2. • Iron ore slips 1% to $US89. • Spot gold down 0. 2% to $US1275. • Brent oil falls 0. 4% to $US102. • Australia: ANZ Roy Morgan weekly consumer confidence. • Our region: Japan Cabinet Office monthly economic report for August; China leading economic index. • Coca-Cola Amatil and Origin Energy trade ex-dividend. • BlueScope Steel raised to outperform vs neutral at Credit Suisse with a price target of $6. 40. • RBC Capital Markets has a “sector perform” recommendation on Duet Group and a 12-month price target of $2. 50 a share after the 2014 financial year result fell in line with expectations. • RBC Capital Markets has a “sector perform” recommendation on Santos after “a good profit”, highlighted by an unexpected increase in dividend to 20¢ a share.
Mesoblast shares have lost 24 per cent in the past year, compared to an 11 per cent rise in the S&P/ASX200 index. 9:42am: Specialty Fashion’s $4 million acquisition of discount retailer Rivers last year has led to a blow out in costs, contributing to a 3. 8 per cent decline in net profit to $12. 47 million in 2014.
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