Looking back on November

If you thought October flushed the sellers out of the market – you’re wrong. Novembers weakness would come out to bite as the market headed lower again throughout the month. Although more than half of the fall came on the last day! A total fall of -163points/-2.8% (from the close on 31 October) was seen, and all sectors finished in the red.

At a Sector level

Trade fears played on investors’ minds, dragging the materials lower. The below chart clearly shows why the energy sector was the worst performer in November. Crude oil retreated to 12-month lows. It wasn’t all that long ago that commentators were calling for oil to hit $US 100/bbl. It now trades at half of that level!

Crude Oil Chart

Removing the bank dividends of ANZ (ASX: ANZ), NAB (ASX: NAB) & Westpac (ASX: WBC) – the financials index would have ended the month higher as the big four saw a rebound from their soft October.

At a stock level

A mid-month investor day that included better than expected guidance helped childcare operator G8 Education (ASX: GEM) top the boards for the month. The stock was more than 40% better off than its consumer discretionary peers! Appen (ASX: APX) also upgraded guidance as it climbed the ladder in November – we own APX at MM. Other names in the top 10 include Trade Me (ASX: TME) which is facing a takeover offer and Afterpay (ASX: APT) which had some help from ASIC.

On the other end of the ledger, a smattering of construction leveraged stocks dominate the losers for the month – Bluescope Steel (ASX: BSL), Fletcher Building (ASX: FBU) & James Hardie (ASX: JHX) all came under pressure as cracks appear in the housing market. Clydesdale (ASX: CYB) slipped on an extremely disappointing full year result, while LendLease’s (ASX: LLC) engineering division capitulated sending the stock plummeting.