Good morning! Here’s what you need to know…
1. The Commonwealth Bank, Australia’s largest, has posted another record statutory net profit of $8.63 billion for the year, in line with expectations. CEO Ian Narev said “business and consumer confidence levels have remained fragile,” but “the levels of underlying activity confirm the strong foundations of the Australian economy.” The company declared a divided of $4.01 per share for the full year, up 10%. How the market reacts to the result at the start of trade could direct the bourse for the day.
2. US markets were flat in the overnight session, with the Dow and the S&P 500 barely moving and the Nasdaq gaining 0.3%. Today in the region we get Japanese Q2 GDP, which the market’s expecting to have contracted 1.8%.
3. What Joe Hockey is telling colleagues about the budget. Peter van Onselen has a long column in The Australian this morning on the current state of federal budget negotiations and how the politics stand. Privately, Hockey has told colleagues he isn’t surprised the initial reception to the budget has been unfavourable,” van Onselen writes, “pointing out that while nobody likes tough medicine, the real test is how the patient reacts once it has made them better.” Fair enough, but ungrateful as it may seem, people can still be grumpy at the doctor for a poor bedside manner, or feeling like the they’ve been making it up as they go along.
4. The Westpac-MI consumer sentiment index is out today at 10.30am AEST. This is a critical update to one of the biggest themes in the Australian economy of late – that confidence, as Ian Narev mentioned in the CBA results announcement, has been fragile, especially since the release of the federal budget. As the cuts in government spending have receded from the headlines, recent surveys have been showing a strong recovery, but yesterday’s update in the weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan survey showed another dramatic fall, possibly driven by the shock 6.4% unemployment rate posted last week.
5. You did not clear all the jelly. King, the makers of the iPhone hit game Candy Crush, has posted a miss on earnings, with revenues of $US593.5 million against $US606 million expected. They also announced a one-off dividend of $US150 million for the company’s top directors and executives. They’ve also reduced guidance for the year ahead. The market hates it, and the stock is down 20% in after-hours trade.
6. China’s richest man tips $1.7 billion into Aussie property. Wang Jianlin, who topped the most recent China Forbes Rich List for the first time, is committing to build a $900 million resort on the Gold Coast, and a further $700 million to other developments through his company, Dalian Wanda. It positions the company to take advantage of the continuing rise of Chinese tourist visitors to Australia.
7. Remembering Robin Williams. There’s so much to reflect on and read about when it comes to Robin Williams’ tragic death. Here’s one pick: BI’s Paul Szoldra, a former US Marine, recounts a time Williams was performing for troops in Kuwait, and the whole audience turned its back on him because a trumpet sounded to signal the lowering of the flag on the base. It’s a great moment and Williams handled it with tremendous humility and poise. There’s video too. Quite a moment.
8. How to see where Google knows you’ve been. There’s a little-known official Google website that contains your location history as tracked if you’ve been using certain Google apps on your smartphone. Steve Kovach has the details, and here’s the map Google returned showing everywhere he walked around his college campus:
9. Yo goes complex. Messaging app Yo which has been a surprise success for something that just allows you to send a simple one-word message to other people, has an update out which allows you to do more with the app, such as send links along with a Yo. It risks ruining the simplicity that so far has made it so successful.
10. No pressure, Kurtley. Kurtley Beale will start at five-eighth for the Wallabies in Saturday night’s Bledisloe Cup opener against the All Blacks. The Waratahs playmaker nabbed the spot ahead of his Super Rugby teammate Bernard Foley, who starred in the spot 10 days ago when the Tahs beat the Crusaders in their Super Rugby premiership win. Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie said Beale “brings the x-factor” to the role.
Bonus item: It’s Wednesday, so late enough in the week for a hillbilly cover of a classic hard rock song. People have been passing around this cover of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck by a Finnish Hillbilly group. The guitar line sounds great on that banjo.
Have a cracker day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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