AUSTRALIAN STOCKS WAIT FOR THE US ELECTION: What you need to know

An American Bald Eagle flies. Bob Levey/Getty Images

Australian shares closed marginally higher.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,257.80 +7.00 +0.13%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,342.20 +11.28 +0.21%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7705 -0.0023 -0.30%

The local market eased to a flat close ahead of the presidential vote overnight in the US.

The banks, which yesterday surged ahead, today lost ground. Westpac dropped 0.8% to $30.25 and the Commonwealth 0.6% to $72.07.

And Macquarie Bank shed 2.5% to $77.39 after going ex-dividend.

The big miners were counterweights to the financial stocks. BHP added 2.6% to close at $23.30 and Rio Tinto 1.6% to $54.79.

a2 Milk Company shares jumped 8.8% to $2.04 after a positive quarterly update, including continuing demand growth for infant formula in China.

The top stories:

1. The Commonwealth Bank stalls. The bank today posted cash profit of $2.4 billion for the September quarter, no change on the amount reported in the same three months last year.

2. Digital pays off for APN Outdoor. The advertising group increased its revenue outlook on the back of growing revenue from digital billboards. Its shares jumped 17% to close at $5.42.

3. Can Australians eat more pizza? Domino’s CEO Don Meij sees a lot of growth locally. After an earnings upgrade, the company’s shares rose 6.7% to close at $72.79.

4. Online property listings shrink. The REA Group, the owner of realestate.com.au, today reported weak listings in the Sydney and Melbourne property markets.

5. More takeover moves at SurfStitch. The troubled online surf wear retailer went into a trading halt while it considers the next move by a takeover suitor.

6. Super-cheap international airfares, by mistake. Sydney to London return for $764. Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia had some ridiculously low international fares on Tuesday morning.

7. US election parties being held in Australia. We’ve found a handful of events in Australia.

8. This is why Americans vote on a Tuesday. The 171-year-old tradition is borne of the nation’s agrarian roots.

9. This company wants to protect the world from drones. DroneShield listed on the ASX in June and is expanding in preparation for a market it believes has almost unlimited potential.

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