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ASX Midday Hot Stocks: ANZ, Lynas and Atlas

The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is up slightly, at 5,204.9 in midday trading, after a bumpy ride since the open. News that Australia’s unemployment rate dipped by 0.1% to 5.5% has failed to spur the market higher, with some economists questioning the accuracy of the data (not for the first time this year either).

Here’s why these three stocks are hot right now.

ANZ Bank (ASX: ANZ) has dropped 0.9% to $30.46, as the shares went ex-dividend. ANZ released its half year results on Monday, and declared a 73 cent dividend, payable on July 1. The bank reported a $3.2 billion cash profit and lifted the dividend by 11%. Just what investors looking for yield wanted.

Atlas Iron Limited (ASX: AGO) is being heavily traded, with more than 13 million shares changing hands by midday. Currently trading around $1.00, Atlas has lost close to 3% in trading today. Yesterday, giant miner BHP Billiton reiterated its view that the iron ore price was going to head lower. Smaller miners like Atlas could face problems, as they are much higher cost producers compared to giants like Rio, Vale and BHP.

Lynas Corporation (ASX: LYC) is up 6.7% to 64 cents, most likely still seeing gains following a positive political result for the company in Malaysia. The opposition party had threatened to close Lynas’ rare earths processing plant, but the re-election of the ruling coalition means one less hurdle stands in the company’s way.

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