US markets closed: YTD figures are currently strong

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Overnight, the US stock and bond markets were closed, on account of Presidents’ Day. So we thought we'd update you on where markets stand calendar year to date. Year-to-date, the Nasdaq is the best performer out of the three major indexes, up 13.5 per cent. This is then followed by the S&P 500, up 6.7 per cent. The Dow is the worst perfomer, however is still up 2.1 per cent year to date.

Yet despite a strong start to markets in 2023 – an EY report on Global IPO Trends report found that IPOs fell 78 per cent in 2022 after a record-breaking year in 2021, with 90 offerings last year compared to 416 in 2021.

The collapse of SPACs or special purpose acquisition vehicles contributed to the fall in IPOs, with SPAC IPOs in the US decreasing 86 per cent in 2022, according to EY. Of course overall economic sentiment and volatility had a major impact on IPOs last year.

It appears that going private is now an emerging trend with a growing number of newly public companies racing back to private ownership after discovering that an IPO isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be.

Of the hundreds of companies that went public in the boom years of 2020 and 2021, 10 have already agreed to sell themselves to private-equity firms, according to Dealogic.

We've actually seen this trend on the ASX and in the BNPL sector with the likes of LayBuy & Zebit delisting frustrated by how the market has valued them.

In company news, Mark Zuckerburg, the Meta CEO, has introduced a subscription service for Instagram and Facebook that will allow users to purchase blue badges that mark them as verified. Known as Meta Verified, the service will launch in Australia and New Zealand this week and hit other countries “soon.” Similar to Twitter Blue, Meta Verified eschews the traditional concept of the blue checkmark as a gift bestowed to notable people like politicians and celebs. Now, it’s open to anyone who’s willing to pay.

Natural gas falls to a 3-year low

Natural gas is down 8.7 per cent this week, falling to a 3-year low on Friday morning. It is currently trading at $2.283, the lowest level since September 28, 2020 when it traded as low as $2.02.


The SPI futures are pointing to a 0.4 per cent fall.


One Australian dollar at 8:40 AM has strengthened compared to the US dollar yesterday buying 69.13 US cents (Mon: 68.66 US cents).


Iron ore futures are pointing to a 3.2 per cent gain.

Figures around the globe

Across the Atlantic, European markets closed mixed. London’s FTSE added 0.1 per cent, Frankfurt lost 0.03 per cent while Paris closed 0.2 per cent lower.

In Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.07 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.8 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite closed 2.1 per cent higher.

Yesterday, the Australian sharemarket closed 0.06 per cent higher at 7,352.


Challenger (ASX:CGF) is paying 12 cents fully franked
Computershare (ASX:CPU) is paying 30 cents unfranked
Endeavour (ASX:EDV) is paying 14.3 cents fully franked
IPH (ASX:IPH) is paying 15.5 cents 40 per cent franked
Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) is paying 46.9 cents 85 per cent franked
US Student Housing REIT (ASX:USQ) is paying 1.5888 cents unfranked

Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.


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Source: Finance News Network