Local shares edged higher today, supported by the strong gains produced by a number of companies that reported their earnings.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) up 0.1% to 5561 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) up 0.1% to 5653 pointss
  • AUD/USD at US 76.06 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$61.23 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,336.80 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$49.36 a barrel

A number of businesses produced spectacular gains today. iSentia Group Ltd (ASX: ISD) shares gained 16.7%, while Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX: SRX) soared 12%.

Meanwhile, Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) shares lifted 14% and Spotless Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: SPO) gained 7%.

Unfortunately, there were a number of businesses that didn’t perform so well. Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) shares plunged 19.5%, while Greencross Limited (ASX: GXL) and APN Outdoor Group Ltd (ASX: APO) lost 4.6% and 4.6%, respectively.

Nearmap Ltd (ASX: NEA) fell 14.3% as well, while Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) dropped 10.4%.

Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) rose 1.5% on its earnings results, but Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) shares fell 3.5% after going ex-dividend.

In other blue-chip news, Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) shares fell 2.2% following a sharp fall in net profit.

Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) also entered a trading halt after announcing that Metcash Limited (ASX: MTS) would acquire its Home Timber & Hardware business.

Here are Wednesday’s top stories:

  1. Sirtex Medical Limited reports: Is it a buy?
  2. Ardent Leisure Group shares surge on giant US potential
  3. Why Blackmores Limited & Slater & Gordon Limited shares are tanking today
  4. Qantas Airways Limited reports record profits, time to buy?
  5. You won’t read this about gold…
  6. Why Woolworths Limited is in a trading halt today

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares of iSentia Group Ltd. 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.