The market is a sea of red ink today as weak offshore leads and a string of disappointing earnings results sparked a sharp sell-off.
It’s almost painful to watch the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) tumble 1.7% in late morning trade with every sector except materials losing ground.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) is one of the biggest drags today with the stock crashing 4.4% to $84.29, after it posted its quarterly update showing higher costs and bad debt provisioning.
This was enough to sour the mood towards the other big banks and even Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) couldn’t catch a break even though the stock was upgraded by at least three brokers after it delivered a half-year profit that was a little ahead of consensus yesterday.
Source: NAB trade / Brendon Lau
But the bad news extends well beyond the banks. Property website operator REA Group Limited (ASX: REA) was the worst performer on the ASX 200 with a 7.5% plunge to $44.47 after it posted a quarterly update that showed a 12% increase in expenses and 9% decline in free cash flow for the nine months to end March.
Listed fund manager Magellan Financial Group Ltd (ASX: MFG) wasn’t far behind as the second worst performer.
Its share took a 5.7% fall to $18.78 when management posted a shocking drop in net fund flows for April. The net amount of investor funds it attracted slowed dramatically to $64 million last month compared with $336 million in March.
Pet care company Greencross Limited (ASX: GXL) is also among the top five losers at midday as its shares were put in the doghouse on a profit warning. The stock is 6.1% lower at $6.68.
There’s still little light at the end of Woolworths Limited’s (ASX: WOW) long dark tunnel with the stock suffering a 3.9% drop to $28.47. The supermarket giant’s quarterly sales number failed to meet expectations as it struggles to fend off competition.
Newspaper publisher Fairfax Media Limited (ASX: FXJ) also contributed to the lunch time loss as its trading update failed to inspire confidence from investors. The stock shed 5.2% to $1.
One of the rare shining lights on the market today is copper miner Sandfire Resources NL (ASX: SFR) as the bounce in the red metal pushed its shares up 4.1% to $5.36.
Hope today’s losses won’t give you indigestion.
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Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau has no position in any stocks mentioned. Follow me on Twitter - https://twitter.com/brenlau
The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.
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