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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 1.2% lower. On Wall Street overnight, the major indices were crushed, with the Dow Jones and NASDAQ Indices both losing 1.6%, while the broader S&P 500 fell 1.5% to an 8-week low. It was also the biggest fall in nearly 3-weeks.The culprit, according to Bloomberg was concerns over lower global growth, as the International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecasts.

    “A combination of not-perfect economic data and some geopolitical risk has put doubt in some investors’ minds and that brings volatility,

    Dan Curtin, global investment specialist at JP Morgan Private Bank told Bloomberg.

    But as the Motley Fool’s Bruce Jackson explained yesterday, “Don’t be a scaredy cat,” adding, “In my investing world, volatility = opportunity.

    Share prices are cheaper than they were a few days ago, and who doesn’t love a sale?

  2. Yesterday’s float of nursing home operator Regis Healthcare Limited (ASX: REG) showed demand for quality healthcare stocks is alive and well. Shares rose 10% above the IPO price to close at $4.02. Regis owns and operates 45 aged care facilities, with founder Bryan Dorman expecting the company to double in size, now that it has access to raise equity capital on the stock exchange.
  3. Fund manager Perpetual Limited (ASX: PPT) is planning to IPO its first listed investment company, to be called The Perpetual Equity Investment Company Ltd, worth an estimated $600 million.
    But with the ASX 200 index down 7% in the past weeks, it might be a tough sell to increasingly nervous investors.
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    An amazing fact. Any wonder that telco stock prices are going through the roof?
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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in Telstra Corporation. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga