Wall Street finished slightly lower overnight after the US stocks hit a fresh high on Friday. Investors locked in profits ahead of economic data due to release this week, including monthly retail sales figures and the Federal Reserve's statement on interest rates and the economy.
An encouraging employment report sent the US stocks to a more than nine months high on Friday. The Labor Department released a report that the country's unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 9.4 per cent, its first decline in 15 months.
Yesterday, the Australian market finished in positive territory as the Wall Street's good performance this month fueled investors' confidence over a gradual recovery in the US. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 ended the day up 37.3 points, or 1.03 per cent, at 3646.6, while the broader All Ordinaries gained 40.1 points, or 1.13 per cent, to 3586.3.
Last Friday Australian shares ended higher, capping a winning week after reports that the US government was working on a program to help troubled US home owners. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 rose 44.8 points, or 1.27 per cent, at 3,559.1, while the broader All Ordinaries gained 38.2 points, or 1.1 per cent to 3,496.7. The Obama administration's seeking to lower expectations of a quick fix to the financial crisis and the coming earnings reports may send the market to a negative territory.
Overnight Wall Street closed with a 2.1 per cent gain, qualifying it as one of the quietest sessions in October. As the recent Australian share market has never made consecutive gains more than two days, analysts speculate a flat market today. Investors may take the breather as they did and wait until the expected RBA rate cut next Tuesday to move back into the market.
Today is going to be another tough day after Wall Street stocks tumbling in late trade overnight as investors worry governments around the world will fail to avert a global recession.
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