The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has fallen 37.3 points, or 0.8%, to close at 4,505.8, following the lead of global markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.8% overnight, while the S&P 500 lost 1.4%, after US corporate earnings disappointed and ratings agency, Moody’s cut its debt rating for five Spanish regions, citing weak financial positions and looming debt redemptions.
The Australian dollar was stronger against the US dollar, buying 103.1 cents.
Just 6 of the top 50 ASX stocks by market cap managed to post positive results today, here’s the best three.
Insurance Australia Group (ASX: IAG) rose 1.3% to close at $4.63, continuing its rise from under $3 earlier this year. It appears the group’s strategy of expanding into Asia is working out well for the insurer – and shareholders. The company has forecast gross written premium will grow by 9-11% in the next financial year, and expects to pay a fully franked dividend yield of around 5% next year (based on the current share price).
Dexus Property Group (ASX: DXS) added 1% to end at 98 cents, after the company announced that it had experienced a strong quarter of leasing and increased its occupancy levels. Valuation reviews of several of its properties saw some of them rise, while the company announced that it was looking to get out of the US industrial property market to focus on the Australian office and industrial sectors.
Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) ended at $4.25 after gaining 1%, as iron ore prices continue to recover. The miner saw its share price fall below $3 just last month, as spot iron ore prices fell under $US90 a tonne. A renegotiation and extension of some of its debt facilities helped the miner avoid an equity raising. Iron ore prices have since risen, and were trading between US$110-US$120 a tonne this week, and Fortescue could look to restart some expansion projects that had been put on hold.
If you only invest in one company this year, make it our “Top Stock for 2012-13”. Operating in two hot markets — one set to double by 2012, the other predicted to grow 5x over the next five years — this stock is a solid growth play that also boasts strong recurring revenue, zero debt, and lots of cash. Get its name and full research case in this brand-new FREE report.
- Minister calls miners ‘fat and lazy’
- Place your bets: A second Sydney casino is coming
- Foxtel’s Christmas present for subscribers
- Inflation shock: prices on the way up
- Apple unveils iPad Mini, iPad upgrade and new Macs
Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned. 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.