AUSTRALIAN STOCKS BOUNCE BACK: Here's what you need to know

Angelique Svinos of New South Wales at the Australian Open Women’s Singles Play Off match against Arina Rodionova of Victoria in Melbourne. Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Australian stocks rallied.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,028.40 +118.84 +2.42%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,078.70 +114.84 +2.31%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7204 +0.0011 +0.16%

The ASX 200 bounced back above the key 5000 point level, stopping a run of six negative trading sessions and lifting the market from a two-year low.

However, the market still has to go a long way to break even for the year. The ASX 200 is down 7.5% since the start of calendar 2015.

Investors followed Wall Street where the S&P 500 closed up 1.1%, led by energy and financial stocks, ahead of an expected lift in official US interest rates on Thursday Australia time.

On the local market, the big miners reversed direction with BHP up 5.59% to $17.18. Energy stocks gained 3.4% with Santos up 5% to $3.45 and Woodside Petroleum 3% to $27.05.

The major banks were also in the green, with gains of more than 2% across the board. The Commonwealth was up 2.89% to $79.09.

Healthcare stocks were the one negative as investors reacted to mid year budget changes seeking rebate savings from pathology and diagnostic services. Primary Healthcare was down almost 10% to $2.33 and Sonic Healthcare 5.6% to $17.46.

The top stories Wednesday:

1. Going private again? Billionaire James Packer is reportedly in talks to return some of Crown Resorts’s assets to private ownership. Crown closed 10.5% higher at $11.77.

2. Looking for acquisitions. Flight Centre is buying the US-based group of companies specialising in student and youth travel. Flight Centre shares added 2.7% to close at $35.10.

3. More European pizza. Domino’s Pizza, fresh from establishing a beachhead in France, is moving in on the German fast food market. Domino’s shares were up 8.2% to close at $53.44.

4. Use your phone. Rewardle, the electronic answer to loyalty cards and the business of getting a free coffee for repeat purchases, will be one of the first apps in Australia to use Android Pay. Rewardle shares added 21.8% to $0.195.

5. Dallas Buyers Club case thrown out of court. The Federal Court dismissed an attempt by a major film studio to access the private details of thousands of iiNet customers who they believed had illegally shared copies of the movie.

6. More jobs. The number of Australian skilled job vacancies increased in November, adding to growing evidence of a strengthening labour market.

7. Earnings to double. Whitehaven Coal says it expects to be profitable in the first half of the financial year with EBITDA between $100 million and $105 million. Whitehaven shares closed 6.6% higher at $0.645.

8. A lot of temptation out there. Here are 7 tips for staying healthy this festive season.

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