SYDNEY -- The S&P/ASX 200 index (INDEX: ^AXJO ) has climbed for the second consecutive day, up 0.9% to close at 4,245.7 following Friday's overseas market gains, which appear to be driven by investor hope for further stimulus in Europe and the U.S.
The Aussie dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar, now buying $1.045 in U.S. dollars.
In more bad news for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, Australia Post has announced that it is partnering with a new online shopping service to offer cheap delivery rates on products normally sold through U.S. retailers, among others. The new online shopping service also sells products much cheaper traditional retailers.
Telstra (ASX: TLS.AX) hit AU$4.00 in afternoon trading -- the highest level since December 2008 -- as the weak economic outlook appears to have prompted investors to buy into high-yielding companies. Telstra is currently paying a 7% fully franked dividend yield.
Despite announcing 15% growth in production for the 2012 financial year and forecasting an even better 2013, oil and gas producer Beach Energy (ASX: BPT.AX) saw its shares slump 2.3%. It goes to show that you just can't please some people.
Winners and losers
Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU.AX) jumped 9.2% to end at AU$9.50 after analysts from Morgan Stanley suggested the company could pay a 10% dividend yield in the current financial year, following the halving of the share price within three months. Whether the company will actually pay a 10% dividend yield is yet to be seen.
Of the majors, Stockland (ASX: SGP.AX) climbed 2.8% to AU$3.33, Asciano added 2.1% to close at AU$4.37, and Leighton Holdings rose 1.9% to AU$16.95.
BlueScope Steel posted the biggest loss of the top 50 companies, falling 2% to AU$0.25. Fortescue Metals also disappointed, losing 1.5% to end at AU$4.09.
Hopes appear to be driving global markets higher in the last couple of days. Here at The Motley Fool, we'd prefer it if something more concrete were driving the market. Mind you, if Mr. Market wants to be irrational, go right ahead -- Foolish investors could be offered ridiculous prices for their stocks or get the chance to pick up some bargains. Either way, irrational markets work for us.
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