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

Peter Siddle of Victoria reacts after bowling during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and Queensland in Melbourne. Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The Australian market closed slightly weaker.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,335.20 -10.95 -0.20%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,374.40 -10.17 -0.19%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7119 -0.0071 -0.99%

Local investors followed Wall St, where the S&P 500 closed 0.3% down.

However, the ASX rallied, making up losses from early trade, after the release of official numbers showing inflation was weaker than expected. The same numbers sent the Australian dollar lower.

Six sectors closed lower and four higher. The banks were mostly slightly weaker and the big miners lost ground.

BHP lost 2.3% to $23.78 and Woodside Petroleum more than 2% to $29.64.

Harvey Norman added 4% to $4.14 after reporting a 7.1% rise in like-for-like quarterly sales.

Sirtex Medical, which has an innovative cancer treatment, plans to expand into more markets, including China and Japan. Its shares closed 9.6% higher at $37.94.

The top stories Wednesday:

1. Inflation at 1.5%. The ABS released its September quarter inflation report. With core inflation at 2.15%, the case for a cut in official cash rates has strengthened.

2. NAB clears the decks. The NAB, unveiling a full year cash profit up 15.5% to $5.84 billion, set out a timetable to float off its UK business. NAB shares dropped more than 2% to close at $31.72.

3. Dick Smith cut its profit guidance. The electronics store says 2016 net profit is now expected to be $5 million to $8 million lower than previous guidance of $45 million to $48 million. Investors punished the retailer. Its shares dropped by one-third (33%) to $0.845.

4. Apple Pay is finally coming to Australia. Apple has partnered with American Express to take Apple Pay global.

5. Christmas is closer than you think. New South Wales is letting retailers trade 24 hours a day for two weeks before December 25.

6. Class wars. Only 2% of Australians think of themselves as upper class.

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