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Why Woodside Petroleum Limited is among 4 shares powering higher today

On a quiet day in terms of trade volumes due to a public holiday in Victoria and the Melbourne Cup horse race the local share market is trading flat as investors hedge their own bets as to the short-term direction of stocks.

However, there are several well known ASX companies racing ahead for varying reasons. So let’s take a look at what might be behind today’s price action.

The Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL) share price is up 6% despite the organic baby formula and infant food manufacturer releasing no specific news to the market. Ever since its August 2014 initial public offering at $1 per share Bellamy’s share price has been on a wild ride in rising to $14 by just December 2015, before crashing back under $4 and then rising back to $2o in March 2018.

Today it sits at $8.22 and investors in this stock need a stomach for volatility due to its lumpy profit reports and exposure to unpredictable Chinese demand.

The Syrah Resources Ltd (ASX: SYH) share price is up 3% to $1.76 despite the miner releasing no specific news to the market. Syrah claims to operate the world’s largest natural graphite mine in Mozambique and reports that demand from China for its product is set to surge. However, over the past year the stock has collapsed in half from a price above $3.60 and has been heavily short sold, with more than 15% of the stock on issue still sold short.

This means some hedge funds are still betting heavily that the price will fall further and bargain hunters in this stock should be sure to do their own research.

The Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) share price is up 1.6% to $46.72 despite the business behind Coles, Bunnings and Target releasing no specific news to the market. The conglomerate is planning to divest its Coles supermarkets business via an initial public offering in order to recycle capital into businesses it considers have superior growth potential. For the quarter ending September 30 2018, Coles headline sales increased 5.8%, with its proposed demerger still to be put to an upcoming shareholder vote.

The Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) share price is up 2% to $34.05 today, despite the WA-based gas and petroleum giant releasing no specific news to the market. Energy shares are up across the board on the local market today despite Brent crude futures edging lower over the past week. The shares are probably rising as investors are betting rising geopolitical tensions between the US and Iran could send oil prices higher over the short term.

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Motley Fool contributor Yulia Mosaleva has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Wesfarmers Limited. 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 Scott Phillips.

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