AUSTRALIAN STOCKS GO NOWHERE: What you need to know

Victory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic during the AFC Asian Champions League match between Melbourne Victory and Shanghai Sipg in Melbourne. Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The Australian market closed marginally higher.

Here’s today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 4,881.20 +6.18 +0.13%
  • All Ordinaries: 4,944.70 +1.44 +0.03%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7177 -0.0020 -0.28%

After a see-sawing day, switching between negative and positive territory, local stocks edged higher. The ASX is down 1.4% this week and 7.8% since the start of 2016.

The major banks fared better with three out of the four adding weight. The Commonwealth was down just 0.37% to $71.00. The ANZ up 1% to $22.55.

BHP lost 1.1% to $16.00 and Rio Tinto 1.6% to $41.32.

The top stories Thursday:

1. Dick Smith is gone. The receivers, Ferrier Hodgson, announced the news this afternoon. Also read: The shares of Dick Smith competitors are surging. And: This is the letter Dick Smith employees received about its closure.

2. The China factor. Blackmores posted a record half-year profit of $48 million, a rise of 160%, on scorching demand for its vitamins. Also read: Staff at Blackmores are getting an extra 4 weeks pay as a bonus. Blackmore shares were down 4.8% to $157.07.

3. Business investment is about to tank. Australian business investment rose unexpectedly in the final quarter of last year, partially offsetting an ugly estimate for spending in the year ahead.

4. Crown Resorts. James Packer’s casino profits took an 89% hit in Macau. Its shares closed 4.6% lower at $11.97.

5. Hardware blues. Lowe’s, the US retailer, has cut the value of its one-third investment in the troubled Woolworths Masters hardware business by more than half to $US530 million. Woolworths shares lost almost 2% to $21.89.

6. Everyone needs a juicer. Australian kitchen appliance maker Breville has just posted a 12.6% rise in half-year revenue to $331.2 million on strong sales to the US. Breville shares gained more than 12% to $6.75.

7. Now a global business. Half year profits at the jobs search engine Seek rose 50% to $275.1 million as it expands its business model internationally.

8. Why banks stocks fell. The selling in Australian bank stocks is about a realisation that property market wildness just doesn’t add up.

9. Nine revenue falls again. And Peter Costello, Australia’s longest serving federal treasurer, is taking the chairman’s role at Nine Entertainment.

10. There is some strength. Here’s where jobs in Australia are being created. Also read: Pay rates in Australian finance are growing nicely while everyone else is getting hosed.

11. Not core business. APN is selling its newspapers after posting a $10 million loss.

12. These IPO stocks are in the money. The top 20 performing Australian IPOs of 2015.

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