US stocks mixed as fresh job market supports Powell’s comments

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The Dow finished slightly lower Wednesday as the market fought to overcome Tuesday’s selloff, spurred by comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hinting at higher interest rates for longer.

In addition, the latest job market data support Powell’s latest comments, showing that job openings fell less than expected in January, while a stronger-than-expected February private payrolls report affirmed that the economy is standing strong despite the central bank’s hiking. The findings precede Friday’s February jobs data after January’s blockbuster number.

The Dow dipped 58.06 points, or 0.18 per cent, to end at 32,798.40, while the S&P 500 edged 0.14 per cent higher to settle at 3,992.01. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4 per cent to finish at 11,576.00.

In company news, the infamous troubled office space company, WeWork, is in talks with SoftBank and others to restructure outstanding debt in excess of US$3 Billion and raise more cash to keep it operating for at least a few years.

Specialty chemicals maker Solenis will buy disinfectant maker Diversey Holdings Ltd (DSEY.O) for $8.40 in an all-cash deal valued at US$4.6 billion including debt representing a 41 per cent premium to prior close, the companies said on Wednesday. Shares of Diversey closed 38 per cent higher.

Blue Orca Capital has disclosed a short position in Piedmont Lithium, alleging that Piedmont's US$100 million investment in Atlantic Lithium, and its spodumene supply agreement with Tesla, were obtained through corrupt means. Piedmont's shares dropped in early trading but have since recovered and are now up 4.8 per cent for the day.

On the electric vehicle front, Volkswagen is putting on hold a planned battery plant in eastern Europe and prioritising a similar facility in North America after estimating it could receive €10bn in US incentives.

The decision is the latest fallout from Joe Biden’s US$369bn package of subsidies and tax incentives for green technology that is luring European companies to the US.

Europe’s largest carmaker told EU officials last week that it expected to reap €9bn-€10bn in subsidies and loans from the US president’s Inflation Reduction Act and other US schemes over the lifetime of the factory, according to people at the meeting.

Overnight, S&P500 sectors closed mostly higher. Real Estate was the best performer, whilst Energy and Healthcare were the biggest laggards.

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


One Australian dollar at 8:10 AM is buying at 65.91 US cents.


Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.1 per cent gain. Iron ore is 0.1 per cent lower at US$127.90 tonne.

Gold fell 0.1 per cent. Silver lost 0.5 per cent. Copper gained 1.4 per cent and oil was down 1.4 per cent.

Figures around the globe

Across the Atlantic, European markets closed mixed. London’s FTSE added 0.1 per cent, Frankfurt gained 0.5 per cent while Paris closed 0.2 per cent lower.

In Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.4 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.1 per cent lower.

Yesterday, the Australian sharemarket closed 0.8 per cent lower at 7307.77.


Auswide Bank (ASX:ABA) is paying 22 cents fully franked
APM Human Services (ASX:APM) is paying 5 cents fully franked
ASX (ASX:ASX) is paying 116.2 cents fully franked
BSP Financial Group (ASX:BFL) is paying 49.4305 cents unfranked
BHP Group (ASX:BHP) is paying 130.5862 cents fully franked
Contact Energy (ASX:CEN) is paying 12.4795 cents unfranked
CSL (ASX:CSL) is paying 154.8929 cents unfranked
Ellerston Asian (ASX:EAI) is paying 3 cents fully franked
G8 Education (ASX:GEM) is paying 2 cents fully franked
Globe International (ASX:GLB) is paying 2 cents fully franked
GTN (ASX:GTN) is paying 1.4 cents unfranked
Helia Group (ASX:HLI) is paying 41 cents fully franked
Idp Education (ASX:IEL) is paying 21 cents 25 per cent franked
Lion Selection Group (ASX:LSX) is paying 2 cents unfranked
Michael Hill International (ASX:MHJ) is paying 4 cents unfranked
Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) is paying 120 cents fully franked
McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS) is paying 58 cents fully franked
Monadelphous Group (ASX:MND) is paying 24 cents fully franked
NZME (ASX:NZM) is paying 5.4328 cents unfranked
Perpetual (ASX:PPT) is paying 55 cents 40 per cent franked
Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) is paying 326.49 cents fully franked
Resimac Group (ASX:RMC) is paying 4 cents fully franked
Reliance Worldwide (ASX:RWC) is paying 6.493 cents 10 per cent franked
South32 (ASX:S32) is paying 7.0636 cents fully franked
Schaffer Corp (ASX:SFC) is paying 45 cents fully franked
Sky Network (ASX:SKT) is paying 5.463 cents unfranked
Summerset Group Hldgs (ASX:SNZ) is paying 9.0227 cents unfranked
Vulcan Steel (ASX:VSL) is paying 22.3575 cents 85 per cent franked

Dividends payable

Accent Group (ASX:AX1)
Ansell (ASX:ANN)
SG Fleet Group (ASX:SGF)

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


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