Best and worst stocks on the ASX at midday

The ASX has started the day lower with the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 0.42% at 12:06 pm. The big news on the local market today has been Qantas’ decision to cut 5,000 jobs after reporting a significant first-half loss; weak capital expenditure data also weighed on investors’ minds.

Overnight on Wall Street the major indices spent much of the day in positive territory, before slipping in afternoon trade and closing flat. The US markets appeared to be treading water as they await Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony before Congress on Thursday.

Here are the top five best performing stocks in the index at midday today:

  • Henderson Group plc (ASX: HGG) has gained 4.5% to $4.66
  • WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED  (ASX: WHC) has added 2.9% to $1.83
  • Decmil Group Limited   (ASX: DCG) is up 2.7% to $2.10
  • QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE) has risen 2% to $13.12
  • Lend Lease Group (ASX: LLC) has climbed 2% to $11.36

These are the five worst performing stocks at midday today:

  • Transfield Services Limited (ASX: TSE) has sunk 9.1% to 87.7 cents
  • Regis Resources Limited (ASX: RRL) has tumbled 8.2% to $2.34
  • Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) has dropped 7.5% to $1.17
  • Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) is down 6.4% to$1.17
  • Mt Gibson Iron Limited (ASX: MGX) has slipped 5.5% to 86.5 cents

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