The market is up 54. The SFE Futures suggest a 20 point rise in the market this morning.

The Dow Jones is up 52.5 — It moved in a relatively narrow 83 point range and reached an intraday record high before closing higher for the thirteenth time in fourteen sessions on the back of encouraging inflation data and positive earnings results. The Labour Department’s core consumer price index increased by a less-than-expected 0.1% in March suggesting US interest rates are not about to go up. The market was also given a boost by impressive earnings results from blue chips such as Johnson & Johnson and Coca Cola whose shares reached their highest level since 2004. The NASDAQ closed down helped by Yahoo Inc’s. disappointing 1Q profit result.

Resources doing great with BHP up 40c to 3046c and RIO up 109c to 8450c. Metals went gangbusters overnight, Copper up 4%, Aluminium up 2.4% and Nickel up 4.5%. Zinc was the biggest mover, up 5.9%. Zinifex up 33c to 1580c. Oil price down 49c to $63.14 after Nigerian oil supply was left unaffected by violence during the 14 April local election. Around 21 people were killed during state assembly elections in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer. Woodside up 22c to 3916c. Gold down $2. Newcrest down 30c to 2312c.

The market is in record territory today, resources, banks, property trusts are all doing well, Uranium stocks not so good. A bid for Orica has set the tone… another $10bn worth of cash on offer to shareholders, another icon Australian company bid for, another confirmation that private equity still has momentum.

  • Orica (ORI) is the big news today…They have rejected a 3200c takeover offer from private equity that has unsurprisingly sent its share price up 537c or 19.25% to 3326c on the back of the news. Not a huge surprise if you had read the extract from Orica’s AGM back in December, they highlighted their low gearing and vulnerability to private equity interest back then. Its stable mate Dyno Noble (DXL) has jumped 19c or 8.23% to 250c. If you put DXL on the same PE as the Orica bid you get 313c. Making the newswires today is Credit Suisse’s downgrade of Orica to NEUTRAL yesterday. Doh.
  • Coca-Cola (CCL) up 19c to 919c after releasing its 1Q trading update. It said performance across all businesses has been solid and that it expects high single-digit EBIT growth in 1H 2007 and FY.
  • Talk that CCL is interested in Foster’s (FGL) as it expands its alcohol operations…A bit of an old one. FGL up 8c to 668c.
  • There have a been a few broker upgrades for Publishing & Broadcasting (PBL) this morning after its Las Vegas acquisitions yesterday. PBL up 21c to 1992c.
  • The AFR has reported today that the KKR-led consortium bidding for Coles Group (CGJ) is working on a structure to give shareholders chance to invest in a listed vehicle holding some of Coles businesses. CGJ is unchanged at 1722c.
  • Consumer sentiment index down 0.2% in April according to Westpac Melbourne Institute mainly due to the 4% rise in petrol prices.

Interesting article in the MARCUS TODAY newsletter titled THE 2008 CRASH.

THE MORNING MARKET REPORT is provided by the MARCUS TODAY daily stockmarket newsletter. You can subscribe for a free five day trial here.

Peter Fray

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