Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

OzRant: Back Up The Truck...

Note - from June 24th 2009, this blog has migrated from Blogger to a self-hosted version. Click here to go straight there.

Ordinarily I would write something about how the intraday bounce erased almost half of the early decline, and how we're not going to find a bottom while everybody is looking for it... given the lack of a final 'flush' downwards - a high volume session in which th market closes near its low. The usual schtick.

But - to use the phrase so often implied by brokerage shills - this time it's different.

How come? I hear you muse.

Simple, silly. The Tycoon's Whores in the US are undertaking a little bit of political-campaign theatre in order to wring as many posturing-points as possible out of this event. In the end tthey will do what they're paid to do - drop to their collective knees and administer the trillion-dollar blowjob that Wall Street is demanding - which will give the world financial system the equivalent of gonorrhoea crossed with Ebola, and which will have an eventual price tag of $5-6trillion. 

That's the 'bullshit gap' for this bill. The political class is not willing to give any hint to the polity that the bill will be that high, though. I'm sure you all now recall the similar underquotes given for other little projects... the Iraq War was going to be a short affair that paid for itself (Perle, Wolfowitz), or would cost $50-70 bill (Rumsfeld in response to Summers) or would cost $200 bill (Summers, just before being fired for saying so). 

The actual cost of Iraq (thus far)? About $850 bill once the latest trillion-dollar trough for the Pentagon is refilled. With accrued liabilities for health care and pensions, Stiglitz thinks the final cost will be $3-$6 trillion.

However as we all know, government is not obliged to do accrual-accounting: if government budgets around the planet moved to accrual accounting (recognising future liabilities as they are incurred), the mask would slip and we would all see that this government lark loses money hand over fist.

But back the the 'failure' of the US bailout. Or as I prefer to say, the rather neat political campaign move by the Republicans (who voted 2:1 against the bill... the Democrats were about 60% for the bill).

In a week the average Yank won't know who voted for or against, since each episode of America's Got Talent  and America's Next Top Model are the national equivalent of a reset button for the brain. Plus, every news outlet from Bloomberg to FauxNews has reframed the entire thing into a politician's talking points... it's not a 'bailout', it's a plan to help working 'merkins. Hell, even I support that... everybody's merkin should work. 

(A merkin is either a pubic wig, or one of those electrical fake vaginas... depends on who you ask, but either way fits with the US national identity: fake, cheap, and utterly lacking in class: the entire US 'Empire' is like a fat bird who gets a(nother) tattoo and dyes her hair to try and become more attractive, instead of spending twenty minutes a day not shovelling fast food into her gob). 

But I digress...

What Joe Schlub will remember is that the Democrats control both houses. The Republicans will make a hue and cry in their press (the NYT, the WSJ and so on), decrying the Pelosi-led process... and will be seen as the driving force behind a new bill. The new bill will pass, and the Republican campaign of John the Collaborating War Criminal McCain will be rescued from meltdown.

And - not to put too fine a point on it - if the markets continue to be weak, the Republicans will try and stall the Vice Presidential debate, which will avert another revelation of the almost Bushian stupidity of Caribou Barbie, who would become Roadkill Barbie if she had to debate a waffling fraud like Biden.  (For those who are wondering: yes, if I was single I would... but only if I had a well planned escape route - because Caribou Barbie is a dead set nutcase).

So in a nutshell: at the start of today's US session, sell bonds and buy the Dow. (Or buy SPI futures in the overnight).

Major Market Indices

The broad market - the All Ordinaries (XAO) - slid pretty savagely, posting a loss of 207.9 points (4.3%), finishing at 4631.3 points. The index hit an intraday high of 4839.2 at 10:00 am, while the low for the day was 4571.2 - set at 10:30 am Sydney time, and an intraday low not seen since December 16th 2005 (the low for that day was 4555).

The All Ords has not closed under 4650 since a few days after that low (December 20th 2005).

Total volume traded on the ASX was 1.32bn units, 18.1% below its 10-day average. The ASX's daily listing of all stocks included 1380 different 3-letter FPO's which traded (i.e., had non-zero trade volume). Of these, 216 issues rose, with volume in rising issues totalling 136m units; decliners numbered 936 counters, and between them they traded aggregate declining volume of 1.09bn shares.

Of the 496 All Ordinaries components, 89 rose while 357 fell. Volume was tilted in favour of the losers by a margin of 7.1:1, with 117.05m shares traded in gainers while 828.46m shares traded in the day's losers.

The Index that forms the cash basis for the SPI Futures - the S&P/ASX 200 (XJO) - dipped pretty savagely, losing 206.9 points (4.3%), closing out the session at 4600.5 points.

GT Intraday Chart
Name Close +/-(%)
All Ordinaries 4631.30 -207.90 (4.3%)
ASX 20 2634.30 -131.50 (4.8%)
ASX 50 4529.80 -215.60 (4.5%)
ASX 100 3749.50 -169.30 (4.3%)
ASX 200 4600.50 -206.90 (4.3%)
ASX 300 4590.80 -206.20 (4.3%)
ASX Mid-Cap 50 4589.70 -131.40 (2.8%)
ASX Small Ordinaries 2467.60 -106.00 (4.1%)

The "heavy hitters" of the Australian market - the ASX 20 Leaders (XTL) - was taken to the woodshed somewhat, sliding 131.5 points (4.75%), closing out the session at 2634.3 points.

The 21 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 175.28m units; 3 index components rose, with rising volume amounting to 15.66m shares, while the 18 decliners had volume traded totalling 159.62m units. The only gainers within the index were

  • QBE Insurance Group (QBE), +$0.30 (1.15%) to $26.50 on volume of 5.4 million shares;
  • Wesfarmers (WES), +$0.07 (0.25%) to $28.48 on volume of 2.6 million shares; and
  • AMP (AMP), +$0.01 (0.14%) to $6.98 on volume of 7.7 million shares.

On the less salubrious side of the big-cap fence, the following stocks were the worst-performed within the index:

  • Rio Tinto (RIO), -$11 (11.52%) to $84.50 on volume of 5.6 million shares;
  • BHP Billiton (BHP), -$3.24 (9.46%) to $31.00 on volume of 31.6 million shares;
  • Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC), -$1.67 (7.21%) to $21.48 on volume of 11.4 million shares;
  • St George Bank (SGB), -$2.1 (6.84%) to $28.60 on volume of 2.3 million shares; and
  • Suncorp-Metway (SUN), -$0.68 (6.81%) to $9.30 on volume of 6.2 million shares.

At the other end of the market-cap spectrum lie the denizens of the ASX Small Ordinaries (XSO) which slid in line with its large-cap counterpart. The Small Ords slid 106 points (4.12%), closing out the session at 2467.6 points.

Among the stocks that make up the Small Caps index, 27 index components finished to the upside, and of the rest, 166 closed lower for the session.

The 208 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 366.99m units: volume in the 27 gainers totalling 23.73m shares, with trade totalling 325.95m units in the index's 166 declining components. The major percentage gainers within the index were
  • Great Southern (GTP), +$0.04 (10.67%) to $0.42 on volume of 1 million shares;
  • Macquarie DDR Trust (MDT), +$0.02 (6.9%) to $0.31 on volume of 4.6 million shares;
  • Austereo Group (AEO), +$0.09 (5.98%) to $1.60 on volume of 191.8 thousand shares;
  • Gunns (GNS), +$0.07 (5.96%) to $1.16 on volume of 4.2 million shares; and
  • Record Realty (RRT), +$0.00 (5.88%) to $0.02 on volume of 602.4 thousand shares.

In the red-zone of the little-stock index, the following list represents the biggest downers (in terms of percentage decline):

  • Rubicon Europe Trust Group (REU), -$0.01 (23.81%) to $0.02 on volume of 2 million shares;
  • Centro Retail (CER), -$0.03 (20.69%) to $0.12 on volume of 12.2 million shares;
  • Admiralty Resources NL (ADY), -$0.01 (20%) to $0.05 on volume of 53.7 million shares;
  • FKP Property Group (FKP), -$0.94 (19.62%) to $3.85 on volume of 1.1 million shares; and
  • Rubicon America Trust (RAT), -$0.01 (19.23%) to $0.02 on volume of 2 million shares.

Index Changes
Code Name Close +/- % Volume
XAO All Ordinaries 4631.3 -207.9 -4.3 989.5m
XFL ASX 50 4529.8 -215.6 -4.54 338.9m
XJO ASX 200 4600.5 -206.9 -4.3 730.9m
XKO ASX 300 4590.8 -206.2 -4.3 909.3m
XMD ASX Mid-Cap 50 4589.7 -131.4 -2.78 215.6m
XSO ASX Small Ordinaries 2467.6 -106 -4.12 354.8m
XTL ASX 20 2634.3 -131.5 -4.75 170m
XTO ASX 100 3749.5 -169.3 -4.32 554.6m
Market Breadth
Advances 3 19 33 89 27 216
Declines 18 81 163 357 166 936
Advancing Volume 15.7m 85m 102.2m 117m 23.7m 136m
Declining Volume 159.6m 477.9m 662.9m 828.5m 325.9m 1.09bn
GICS Industry Indices

Among the 11 industry indices, the news was universally negative: not a single sector managed to break into the "Win" column.

Since none of the industry sectors registered a gain for the session, there is no point in burdening ourselves with the internal behaviour of advancing sectors... on to the losers.

The worst-performed index for the session was Materials (XMJ), which dipped 909 points (7.8%) to 10743.5 points. The 45 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 206.84m units; The 37 decliners had volume traded totalling 181.09m units, and 5 index components rose, with rising volume amounting to 23.14m shares, The major percentage decliners within the index were

  • Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (FMG), -$0.94 (16.79%) to $4.66 on volume of 17.6 million shares;
  • Aquarius Platinum (AQP), -$0.95 (13.93%) to $5.87 on volume of 198.2 thousand shares;
  • Murchison Metals Ltd (MMX), -$0.19 (12.67%) to $1.28 on volume of 1.4 million shares;
  • Independence Group NL (IGO), -$0.38 (12.46%) to $2.67 on volume of 291.9 thousand shares; and
  • Atlas Iron (AGO), -$0.21 (11.93%) to $1.55 on volume of 2.1 million shares.

Just missing out on the wooden spoon was Energy (XEJ), which slid 890 points (5.21%) to 16178.1 points. The 19 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 44.6m units; The 18 decliners had volume traded totalling 43.22m units, and volume in the lone rising index component was 1.38m shares, The major percentage decliners within the index were

  • Felix Resources (FLX), -$2.02 (10.63%) to $16.98 on volume of 1.3 million shares;
  • Worleyparsons (WOR), -$3.25 (9.69%) to $30.30 on volume of 1.2 million shares;
  • Centennial Coal Company (CEY), -$0.32 (8%) to $3.68 on volume of 2.6 million shares;
  • Nexus Energy (NXS), -$0.1 (7.85%) to $1.12 on volume of 3.1 million shares; and
  • Riversdale Mining (RIV), -$0.69 (7.63%) to $8.35 on volume of 1.8 million shares.

Third-to-last amongst the sector indices was Property Trusts (XPJ), which slid 61.3 points (4.29%) to 1369.2 points. The 21 stocks which make up the index traded a total of 139.98m units; The 18 decliners had volume traded totalling 122.7m units, and 2 index components rose, with rising volume amounting to 16.45m shares, The major percentage decliners within the index were

  • Centro Retail (CER), -$0.03 (20.69%) to $0.12 on volume of 12.2 million shares;
  • Centro Properties Group (CNP), -$0.02 (16.19%) to $0.09 on volume of 31.4 million shares;
  • Valad Property Group (VPG), -$0.04 (11.94%) to $0.30 on volume of 10.3 million shares;
  • Macquarie Office Trust (MOF), -$0.07 (8.24%) to $0.78 on volume of 10.2 million shares; and
  • Goodman Group (GMG), -$0.21 (7.95%) to $2.43 on volume of 12.1 million shares.

Sector Indices
Code GICS Sector Close +/- % Volume
XIJ Information Technology 524.4 -2.8 -0.53 3m
XUJ Utilities 4594.8 -24.7 -0.53 49m
XTJ Telecommunications 1417.8 -9.4 -0.66 43m
XHJ Healthcare 9087.9 -178.9 -1.93 10m
XSJ Consumer Staples 7020.6 -156.6 -2.18 30m
XDJ Consumer Discretionary 1598.4 -41.5 -2.53 43m
XNJ Industrials 4401.1 -132.8 -2.93 101m
XXJ Financials ex Property Trusts 4878.1 -178.8 -3.54 116m
XPJ Property Trusts 1369.2 -61.3 -4.29 140m
XEJ Energy 16178.1 -890 -5.21 45m
XMJ Materials 10743.5 -909 -7.8 207m

All Ordinaries Major Movers

All Ords Volume Leaders
Code Name Close +/- % Volume
ADY Admiralty Resources NL 0.05 -0.01 -20 53.7m
TLS Telstra Corporation Limited. 4.18 -0.04 -0.95 36.7m
BHP BHP Billiton Limited 31.00 -3.24 -9.46 31.6m
CNP Centro Properties Group 0.09 -0.02 -16.19 31.4m
OZL OZ Minerals Limited 1.61 -0.10 -5.59 25.9m
All Ords Percentage Gainers
Code Name Close +/- % Volume
PTN Prime Retirement and Aged Care Property Trust 0.48 0.08 18.75 1.1m
CZA Coal of Africa Limited 2.49 0.39 18.57 277.1k
CMW Cromwell Group 0.81 0.12 16.67 1.6m
THG Thakral Holdings Group 0.87 0.11 13.73 310.6k
CKT Challenger Kenedix Japan Trust 1.10 0.12 12.24 361.7k
All Ords Percentage Losers
Code Name Close +/- % Volume
BVA Bravura Solutions Limited 0.40 -0.18 -31.03 362.4k
REU Rubicon Europe Trust Group 0.02 -0.01 -23.81 2m
SPH Sphere Investments Limited 1.06 -0.28 -20.9 71.5k
CER Centro Retail 0.12 -0.03 -20.69 12.2m
ADY Admiralty Resources NL 0.05 -0.01 -20 53.7m