The local share market closed higher, although it did pare back its gains as the day progressed.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) up 0.5% to 4864 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) up 0.4% to 4917 points
  • AUD/USD at US 68.96 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$41.61 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,102.29 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$27.79 a barrel

The ASX 200 soared in early trade as investors defied another volatile session on Wall Street overnight. However, that optimism soon faded with investors perhaps fearing further volatility in the days, and maybe even weeks ahead.

The major banks acted as a heavy drag on the market today, but Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) did the most damage. They fell 1.7% and 1% respectively.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) also closed marginally lower despite spending most of the day in the black, although Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) managed to rise 1.6%.

Elsewhere, Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) provided plenty of support, rising 2.6%, while Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) gained 2.8%.

Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) and JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) were amongst the market’s biggest gainers, jumping 6.7% and 5.5% respectively. Sundance Energy Australia Ltd (ASX: SEA) wasn’t so lucky, sliding 9%.

Here are Thursday’s top stories:

  1. Could BHP Billiton shares really be worth just $6.30?
  2. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and BHP Billiton Limited at new lows on dividend worries
  3. Could CSL Limited shares be worth $111?
  4. Why Woodside Petroleum Limited shares could sink further
  5. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group predicted to slash dividend
  6. Markets plunge and global fears rise

BRAND NEW! Our Top Dividend Stock for 2016

Our resident dividend expert names his Top Dividend Share for 2016. Not only are the shares dirt cheap, the company is trading on a fat, fully franked dividend yield. Simply click here to gain access to this comprehensive FREE investment report, including the name of this fast growing ASX dividend share. No credit card required!

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: Motley Fool’s #1 Dividend Pick for 2017!

With its shares up 155% in just the last five years, this ‘under the radar’ consumer favourite is both a hot growth stock AND our expert’s #1 dividend pick for 2017. Now we’re pulling back the curtain for you... And all you have to do to discover the name, code and a full analysis is enter your email below!

Simply enter your email now to receive your copy of our brand-new FREE report, “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2017.”

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our https://www.fool.com.au/financial-services-guide">Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.

Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ASXvalueinvest.

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.