The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) recovered from a midday fall of more than 1%, to end the day down 0.5% at 4,027.8, despite indications that the market was set for a rising day.
On Friday, overseas markets shrugged off Moody's downgrades to global banks, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.5%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.7% and the NASDAQ put on 1.2%.
Investors seem to put no faith in a European Union summit later this week, with CMC Markets trader Tim Waterer saying the summit is expected to be a non-event event. In simple terms, investors, not surprisingly, are sick of all the talk and want some positive action.
Could half price make Billabong more attractive?
Billabong International Limited's (ASX: BBG) saw its share price almost halve today, falling by 48%, as it came out of a trading halt following last week's $225m capital raising and earnings downgrade. Shares in the surf-wear group closed at 96 cents. One wonders how many retail shareholders are going to subscribe for shares in the capital raising at $1.02, given they are now cheaper to buy on the open market. Perhaps the only positive light for shareholders is that the current share price may make Billabong an attractive takeover target.
Not enough garbage?
In other news, apparently we aren't producing enough garbage, with Transpacific Industries Group (ASX: TPI) lowering its expected full year profit and earnings forecasts, thanks to low garbage volumes in its Cleanaway business.
Restructures take their toll
Three senior editors of Fairfax Media Limited's (ASX: FXJ) flagship newspapers have resigned, following last week's announcement of a radical restructure of the company. The market didn't much like the news with Fairfax shares ending down 1.7%. Perpetual Limited (ASX: PPT), one of Australia's oldest companies and well known fund manager also announced a restructure today, cutting jobs, restructuring management and selling its mortgage lending business. Goodman Fielder Limited (ASX: GFF) didn't want to be left out and announced the closure of three bakeries and associated job losses of 115 staff.
Miners and Banks drag the index down
Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC) also fell, but Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) went against the trend, rising by 0.3%. Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) was down 3%, following on from a 3% fall in the price of gold last week.
Anyone remember who won the elections in Greece? Despite the turning-point that that was meant to be, investors still have ongoing concerns with European economies and those concerns are unlikely to be addressed at the European Union summit.
We'd suggest investors stay calm and ignore the despair. Opportunities will present themselves, as irrational markets chuck out the baby with the bathwater.
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Motley Fool contributor Mike King owns shares in BHP Billiton. The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it's still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.