So far 2011 has not been a good year for the Australian stock market despite the ASX All Ordinaries & S&P/ASX 200 flirting with the 5000 points level earlier in the year. Over recent months the market has fallen back into bear market territory so a review at this stage of some 52 week stock price highs & low may give us an insight into how the market is tracking.
The last time I checked the highs/lows for the stocks below was back at the end of December 2010 when the All Ordinaries Index was around 4,700 points. Today the All Ords closed around the 4,300 level so quite a few stocks have are probably trading well below their 52 week highs.
If we look at the table below we can see that is indeed the case.
52 Week Stock Prices Highs/Lows
(Last trade/closing prices as of 10th October 2011)
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A closing price in green means the stock is trading higher than last time a check of 52 week stock prices was undertaken. (February 2010) A closing price in red means the stock price has fallen over the same period. A figure in black means the share price is approximately the same as the last review. A new stock, Westfield Group (WDC) has been added.
Obviously the table above shows a lot of red numbers which means that apart from a few stocks, most shares closed lower on the 10th October 2011 than they did on the 31st December 2010.
This is indicative of a market wide pull-back. It isn’t just a the resources related stocks that are under pressure but rather most ASX listed stocks have been sliding and for quite some time.
Only National Australia Bank, Domino’s Pizza and Telstra are trading higher than they did back in December 2010.
Virgin Blue Holdings which has been down to a 52 week low of 23 cents and Macquarie Bank which closed yesterday $24.44 are candidates for stock market dogs of 2011 as is Fairfax Media.
Now let’s have a quick look at a few stock price charts.
Commonwealth Bank (CBA) 1 year share price chart
The 52 week high for CBA of $55.77 was reached in February and basically its share price has been on the way down ever since. It recent weeks it hit a new 52 week low of $42.30 and that is probably another reason why the bank announced recently that it will embark on a cost cutting program.
Macquarie Group (MQG) 1 year share price chart
Long term investors in Macquarie Group don’t have much to cheer about this year and it’s sobering to recall that at one stage shares in Macquarie Bank were poised to break through the $100 mark. MQG shares hit a 52 week high of $41.95 in February and recently set a 52 week low of $19.94.
Platinum Asset Management (PTM) 1 year share price chart
Platinum Asset Management was once something of a stock market darling and the shares actually broke though the $8 mark in the second half of 2007. This year however has not been a good one for PTM shareholders and the stock is trading around its 52 week low at present.
Looking at the stock prices above it’s hard to spot signs of a multi-speed or dual speed economy. Rather the market appears to be pricing in a weaker global economy in 2012 and although stocks may get a lift towards the end of the year I don’t expect we will be seeing many 52 week highs being breached over the next six months.
Greg Atkinson is the editor of Shareswatch Australia and the Managing Director of Ohori Capital He is originally from Australia but currently resides in Japan. He can be followed on twitter via @GregAtkinson_jp