5 things you need to know about the Australian sharemarket today

Welcome to Wednesday. Here are the five things I’m looking at today on the Australian sharemarket.

  1. The S&P/ ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has opened 0.8% lower at 5,564.3 following weak leads from Wall Street overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.6%, the broader S&P 500 closed 0.7% lower and the NASDAQ closed down 0.9%.
    According to Bloomberg, fears are rising that the US Federal Reserve may raise interest rates sooner than expected. But John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management, appears to disagree tell Bloomberg,
    “If the Fed tightens too soon, it will drag the U.S. and the world into another recession.”
    ‘Lower rates for longer’ continues to be the mantra, likely to see dividend paying stocks remain in high demand.
  2. Telcos including Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS), Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (ASX: SGT) – which owns Optus and Hutchison Telecommunications (ASX: HTA) – joint owner of Vodafone Australia could see a boost today, after Apple unveiled two new iPhones overnight. The new iPhones can be ordered in Australia from September 19.
    JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH), Dick Smith Holdings Ltd (ASX: DSH) and other consumer electronics retailers could also see a boost, not just from the iPhones, but also excitement over the Apple Watch to be released in 2015 – that may well last up until Christmas.
  3. Iron ore stocks are taking a bath in early morning trading, after the commodity price slumped again overnight. The red metal fell 0.4% to US$83.20 per tonne overnight. Arrium Ltd (ASX: ARI), Atlas Iron Limited (ASX: AGO) and Grange Resources Limited (ASX: GRR) have all dropped more than 3% so far. Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) CEO Nev Power has admitted to the Australian Financial Review that he has been surprised at how much the iron ore price has fallen and stayed down.
  4. Tweet of the Day.

    One amazing fact that puts Australia’s ASX into stark contrast.

  5. Stock of the Day – brought to you by Sean O’Neill – Auckland International Airport Ltd (ASX: AIA). Sean thinks it’s an appealing long term buy – and you can find out why here.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in Telstra and Apple. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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