Welcome to Thursday. Here’s what you need to know…
1. US stocks went nowhere. The Dow was up 0.1% to 16,447.90, Nasdaq up 0.1% to 4,356.91, and the S&P 500 finished down -0.02%. So it’s fair to say it was all pretty flat. NAB summed offshore activity up nicely saying, “There wasn’t a lot of news overnight, but what there was, was on the negative side”.
2. It’s employment day in Australia and the ASX is set to open lower. Weak action in the US, Europe and Asia has impacted local markets with the SPI 200 September futures contract falling 8 points to 5,447. Investors are a little twitchy after the last few trading days and will be hanging on the outcome of the employment data release at 11.30 this morning. The market is expecting around 12,000.
3. Finance’s version of a horror film. There are two charts from ANZ that will give investors the jitters today. They show both the US and global economy is gaining enough traction to push US 10 year rates and the Fed funds higher. Bonds are also on the up and could be a strong headwind for stocks in Australia and around the world.
4. What is metadata? Neither Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott nor Attorney General George Brandis seem able to clearly explain what metadata is – which is a little unsettling considering it is a significant component of the new counter-terrorism laws the government is hoping will pass through the Parliament with bi-partisan support. You can watch Brandis’ disastrous attempt here.
5. The new iPhone 6 isn’t out until early September but clones have already hit the market. Yep. The iPhone 6 clone has been released, complete with clone earphones, user manual, box and charger. Although tech geeks tell us when it comes to performance it’s laggy and slow. Although they think it’s a pretty close mock-up. You can watch the unwrapping here.
6. Fans of House of Cards should try and get along the ICAC hearings in Sydney over the next few weeks. The NSW Liberal Government is facing more pain over revelations that a number of Hunter Valley MPs were involved in taking illegal donations from developers such as Nathan Tinkler. Even Frank Underwood would look to the camera and raise an eyebrow as the details emerge. By the time counsel assisting the inquiry had finished his opening address, two Liberal MPs, including the chief whip, had stood aside and will now sit on the cross benches.
7. An awful racist attack, aimed at Jewish school kids as young as 5, happened on a bus in Sydney yesterday afternoon. Police had already nabbed 5 of the 8 perpetrators, but the details will send a chill through all parents. We hope the kids recover quickly and the rest of those responsible are found soon.
8. Guys, Smokin’ Joe is slogging his guts out for you and you’re not helping. Treasurer Joe Hockey’s taken almighty whack at Australian business for not doing more to support his budget measures. “I think interest groups are quite weak, and the business community is weaker than it has been over many years, as a voice,” Joe said.
Harden up gang. He needs you.
9. Forget boat people, a huge visa racket is rorting the immigration system Fairfax reports. Leaked documents suggest as many as nine in 10 visas issued to skilled immigrants to work in Australia may be fraudulent and there were 40,000 suspect visa applications between 2008 and 2013 – for former ALP government’s watch.
10. Go Team Australia, or more specifically, Team Perth. When a commuter fell while boarding a train in Western Australia and his leg was trapped between the platform and train, the passengers got off and joined forces to give the carriage an almighty heave to free the bloke. Watch the amazing video here and forgive any body odour next time you’re commuting, assured your fellow passengers have got your back.
Bonus Item Is this the most dangerous attempt at capturing a surf photograph? Maybe. Pro surfers Mark Mathews and Taj Burrow are towed in together onto a Western Australian break called The Right. This ride didn’t go as planned. Mathews surfaced with a big bloody gash on his face and a ruptured eardrum.
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