AUSTRALIAN STOCKS GO NOWHERE: Here's what you need to know

Australia’s Jaimee Fourlis during the Girls Singles first round match against Olesya Pervushina of Russia on day eight of the 2016 French Open in Paris. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed marginal higher.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,408.00 +2.09 +0.04%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,473.60 +3.88 +0.07%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7164 -0.0017 -0.24%

The local market started a new week with a whimper but maintained its margin above 5400 points on the ASX 200 index.

The major four banks and the big miners were weaker.

The ANZ closed down 0.6% to $25.69. BHP was 0.6% lower at $19.240 and Rio Tinto 0.13% to $44.77.

However, Woolworths was up 1.4% to $22.39. LNG added more than 6% to $0.575 and Macquarie Bank 1.3% to $74.36.

News that vitamin company Blackmores was having trouble convincing Chinese customers of the quality of its infant formula product sent its shares tumbling. They lost more than 4% down to close at $151.50.

ALS Ltd posted a full year loss of $240.7 million as the oil and gas sector dragged down the rest of the analytical testing business. Its shares closed more than 7% lower at $4.17.

The top stories Friday:

1. Complacency is the enemy of Australian prosperity. Satyajit Das says Australian banking is more vulnerable than people realise.

2. Company profits are tanking. Gross operating profits at Australian firms nosedived in the first quarter of 2016, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

3. Telstra’s network outages are hurting. The recent string of outages by Telstra is putting the company’s profit margins at risk.

4. Selling $16 million of Bitcoin. EY is auctioning off 24,518 bitcoin, worth up to $A16 million, next month, in an Australian first.

5. Home sale slump. Australian new home sales fell heavily in April, led by an 11% slump for units.

6. Four’n Twenty pies for sale. Pacific Equity Partners has made an offer valued at almost $230 million for frozen food group Patties Foods. Patties shares closed 17.6% higher at $1.565.

7. Real-time cashflow tracking. Finance and leasing company FlexiGroup is taking a $2 million equity stake in Kikka Capital, a fintech lending online to the highly competitive small business market. FlexiGroup closed at $2.21, up 0.4%.

8. The election is keeping people at home. Qantas’s latest traffic statistics show no improvement since the airline warned last month that domestic travel has slowed in Australia as the nation heads towards a federal election. Qantas closed 3.3% higher at $3.10.

9. An ad hoc approach. The finance heads of some of Australia’s biggest companies admit their businesses haven’t been paying much attention to innovation.

10. Recognition for coolness. The beehive that broke crowdfunding records just won Australia’s top design award

11. It’s official. Australian managers are mediocre, according to Australia’s largest survey of business leadership and the first major leadership study since 1991.

12. A ratings upgrade. Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Atlas Iron’s corporate family rating to Caa3 from Ca on the back of the company’s recent debt restructure. Atlas shares closed more than 14% higher at $0.016.

13. END GAME: How Putin made Russia the ticking time-bomb that only he can defuse.

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