Need to know: Wednesday, May 14

20:49, May 13 2014

What you need to know on Wednesday morning, May 14

- NZX50 up 36.92 points (0.72 per cent) to 5199.34

- NZ dollar at US86.32 cents, A92.33c, 88.30yen, 51.32p, €63.02c

- Brent crude oil at US$109.25 a barrel

- Spot gold at US$1293.30 an ounce

What's on today

- Statistics New Zealand's Retail Trade Survey will show consumers' appetite for retail spending during the March quarter.

- The Reserve Bank's Financial Stability Report looks at risks in the economy and how stable the financial system is.

- Westpac Banking Corporation goes ex-dividend (Interim), paying 90c a share, payable on July 2.

- Augusta Capital goes ex-dividend (Interim), paying 1c a share, payable on May 23.

Stocks to watch

- Retailers: The market will be watching today's Statistics NZ retail trade figures, which will cause extra interest in retail stocks such as The Warehouse, Michael Hill, Briscoe Group, Postie Plus, Pumpkin Patch and Kathmandu.

Top international news

- Australia's Government has announced A$80 billion (NZ$85.7b) in cuts to education and health spending over the next decade as it battles a flood of red ink on its books. High-income earners have also been hit with a 2 per cent "temporary budget repair levy" that will contribute A$3.1b in revenue and will run for three years. The government is trying to bring its A$49.9b deficit down to $17b next year.

- The Dow and the S&P 500 edged up overnight, with the S&P 500 briefly rising above 1900 for the first time, while the Nasdaq pulled back after recent gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 25.25 points or 0.15 per cent, to 16,720.72. The S&P 500 gained 1.68 points or 0.09 per cent, to 1898.33. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.79 points or 0.12 per cent, to 4,139.069. Earlier, the Dow rose to 16,735.51, an intraday record, and the S&P 500 advanced to 1,902.17, also a lifetime intraday high.

Something else for your morning

- Thinking of moving to Christchurch? That could be an expensive decision, according to a government report that says rents in the quake-hit city will soon be on a par with Auckland's.