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5 things you need to know about the Australian sharemarket today

Welcome to Tuesday. 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 up 0.3% higher, after US stock markets rallied for the third day? Correction over? Possibly, and the bull market rolls on. Overnight, the US S&P 500 gained 0.9%, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ soared 1.4%. The Dow Jones, which contains just 30 of America’s top stocks, gained just 0.1%, after IBM slid 7% to hit its lowest price in 3 years.

    But earnings from many other US corporates are rolling in, and many are beating market expectations. With term deposits and bank accounts paying minimal interest, high dividend paying stocks are likely to still be in favour.

  2. Private equity group Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) has pulled the sale of its $615 million stake in credit business Veda Group Ltd (ASX: VED). It seems five investment banks offered low bids of around $2.10 to $2.15 per share, less than PEP wanted. Veda’s shares last closed at $2.32.The Australian Financial Review (AFR) also reports that fund managers were unable to make firm commitments at a higher price due to the current volatility in the market.

    Veda had only just reiterated last week that the company would see at least low double-digit growth in the 2015 financial year. You can read our latest article on Veda here.

  3. Bread maker Goodman Fielder Ltd (ASX: GFF) is likely to delist from the ASX in early 2015, after the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approved the takeover by Singapore’s Wilmar International and Hong Kong investment company First Pacific.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had already given its green light to the deal back in September, despite the fact it would increase Wilmar’s share of the edible oils market to more than 50%.

    Wilmar and First Pacific are still working on a number of other regulatory approvals, and a Goodman Fielder shareholder meeting will be held in early 2015 to approve the scheme.

  4. Tweet of the Day.

    R.I.P. Gough. At 98 years old, you certainly had a good innings.

  5. Stock of the Day – brought to you by  Regan Pearson – is gold miner Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM). Regan suggests there are hidden risks on the giant Australian miner’s balance sheet – you can discover them in his earlier article.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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