The local share market edged higher today, aided by a very strong gain from BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP). That came even after yesterday’s terrible earnings result from the group.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) up 0.1% to 5535 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) flat at 5628 points
  • AUD/USD at US 76.73 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$60.22 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,343.63 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$48.81 a barrel

BHP Billiton reported a US$6.4 billion loss on Tuesday afternoon, but that didn’t stop its shares from rising 3.3%.

Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) also lifted 2.3% while South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) gained 3%.

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) wasn’t so lucky, falling 5.1%. QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE) fell even harder, shedding 8.3%. And Spotless Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: SPO) plunged 10.6%.

They weren’t the only shares on the chopping block today. EVOLUTION FPO (ASX: EVN) tumbled 6.4%, Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) fell 5.5% and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) lost another 3.5%.

Of course, it wasn’t all bad news today. Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd. (ASX: DMP) rose 8.1%. Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL) gained 6.2%. And Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) lifted 4.5%.

Here are Wednesday’s top stories:

  1. Why shares of BHP Billiton Limited are soaring today
  2. Crash: Why the QBE Insurance Group Ltd share price is plunging today
  3. Here’s why shares in gold miner EVOLUTION FPO crashed today
  4. Is Nanosonics Ltd a buy after posting a 93% jump in sales?
  5. Servcorp Limited reports: Here’s what investors should know
  6. Sonic Healthcare Limited rises as profits jump 20%: Is it a bargain?
  7. Why the Primary Health Care Limited share price is soaring today

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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.