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

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Australian stocks ended the session where it began.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,667.20 -0.27 0.00%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,707.80 -0.28 0.00%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7537 +0.0030 +0.40%

The local market opened lower but regained ground in the afternoon, held up by slightly stronger banks, to close almost where it started, off just 0.27 of one point on the ASX200 index.

The ANZ closed 0.6% higher at $27.54 and Westpac 0.5% at $29.71.

BHP was down 0.6% to $23.19 and Rio Tinto was higher 0.3% to close at $61.68.

The top stories:

1. The record run without a recession. Australia’s run without experiencing a technical recession — loosely defined as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth — hit 103 quarters, equaling the record, held by the Netherlands, for a developed nation that has not suffered an economic downturn.

2. The economy is growing at its slowest rate since the GFC. According to the ABS, GDP expanded by 0.3% in the March quarter in seasonally adjusted chain volume terms, seeing the year-on-year increase slow to just 1.7%, the weakest expansion since the September quarter of 2009.

3. A $2.2 billion takeover offer for Vocus. Private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) has launched a bid at $3.50 cash per share. Vocus shares added 21% to close at $3.48.

4. Savings ratios in Australia point to looming household stress. Australia’s household savings ratio is at levels last seen at the heights of the global financial crisis.

5. The companies with the biggest potential for buybacks and special dividends. Macquarie’s data services team has put together a comprehensive list of franking credits across Australian corporates.

6. The Coles plan to win back unhappy supermarket customers. Among the opportunities for improvement, the company says 1 in 3 customers are dissatisfied with prices, 1 in 6 aren’t happy with freshness and 1 in 5 don’t like the service.

7. Blockchain software company, DigitalX, announced a $4.35 million investment by Blockchain Global Limited. The investment at 2.7 cents a share gives Blockchain Global about 40% of DigitalX. Its shares closed almost 74% higher at $0.040.

8. And the CSIRO believes blockchain technology will change Australian industry. Data61 just revealed the results of an extensive review into how the technology could be adopted in Australia to deliver productivity benefits in areas such as financial services.

9. Autopilot just raised a $US12 million round led by Blackbird Ventures. The latest investment in the Sydney marketing software startup brings the total investment in the company to $US32 million.

10. The best and worst performing ETFs. The use of exchange traded funds has exploded in use in Australia, doubling in the last there years.

11. This guy spent more than $10,000 on Tesla’s new home battery. And he’s calculated he’ll have a $0 electricity bill.

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