The market is up 65 with resources up 1.2% and leading the way. BHP lifting the ASX200 by 21 points on its own. The SFE Futures suggested a 71 point gain in the market this morning.

Dow up 60. Down 33 at its worst and up 85 at its best. 4th lightest volume of the year. We have had a couple of weeks of low volume in the US which is being seen by some as part of a consolidation process and an indicator of an imminent change in trend… evidence that the conviction behind the selling is waning. After a string of worse than expected results the tide has finally turned. Intel up 7.7% in after hours trade on late results. US Bancorp, State Street and Northern Trust also beat expectations. Higher than expected NY Empire State Index (which is a good thing for economic growth). Oil price hit a record $114.08. ExxonMobil and Chevron up. PPI numbers higher than expected. Lehman’s CEO made the comment that the worst of the credit crisis is “behind us”. Financials rose 1.1% helped by some good results.

  • Both BHP and RIO up in ADR form overnight, 3.8% and 4.5% respectively. BHP up 94c to 4294c. RIO up 296c to 14107c.
  • Metals mostly down – Copper and Aluminium down 1.5%, Zinc down 0.2% and Nickel was unchanged. Zinifex up 22c to 988c.
  • Oil price closed in record territory – up $2.06 to $113.77. A report by the International Energy Agency said Russian oil production dropped this year for the first time in a decade. Woodside up 117c to 5694c.
  • Gold up $3.30 to $932.00. Most of the gold stocks down. Newcrest down 43c to 3304c.
  • US Bonds down with the 10 year yield down to 3.6%.

We still have a lot of hurdles ahead in the US this week with results from JP Morgan Chase tonight and Merrill Lynch, Bank of New York, and Citigroup still to come. Banks lagging at the moment on a similar cautiousness about forthcoming results.

There is a bit of chat going around that Macquarie are going to pull one out of the bag with their results on May 20th and announce a good results with a positive statement designed to dispel financial fear. The price has rallied from the open today compared to Babcock & Brown that opened up and has fallen. MQG up 3% or 168c to 5762c. BNB up 9c to 1314c having peaked at 1350c.

  • Oxiana (OXR), reports record 1Q copper output but delays first production from its Prominent Hill development by a quarter. Oxiana up 9c to 326c.
  • Woolworths (WOW), have released 3Q results. Sales up 10.2% to $11.639bn in line with expectations of $11.6bn. Higher food and petrol prices helped the number. If you adjust for an early Easter they were up 9.8% a bit better than expectations of 9.4%. Food & Liquor sales up 9.3% with the like for like number up 6.7% which is a touch under the 6.8% expected. Expanded market share against rival Coles. Outlook statement is a bit cautious. WOW down 30c to 2840c.
  • QBE up 1.8% after its bid for IAG yesterday. IAG up another 3.8% on talk of another increase in the bid and on one broker’s comment that QBE could afford to pay 500c, IAG now 435c up 16c
  • Crown Ltd (CWN) has sold its 25.4% stake take in Monarchy Enterprises Holdings B.V. for US$189.4 million, the owner of Hollywood film studio New Regency Productions. CWN up 9c to 1034c.
  • Sundance Resources’ (SDL) 90% owned Mbalam Iron Ore Project in West Africa has announced positive drill results on a potential 1bn tonne iron ore resource. SDL up 3c to 26.5c.
  • United Group Limited (UGL) have announced that UGL Unicco, UGL’s North American facilities services business bought in September 2007, has secured new work to the tune of $169.5m since the acquisition. UGL 64c to 1299c.
  • Programmed Maintenance (PRG) directors have told shareholders to reject Spotless Group Ltd’s takeover offer, based on Spotless “undervaluing” the company. PRG forecast EBITA to grow 30% in FY09 and EPS to grow 10-15% in the same period. PRG up 16c to 499c.
  • Sonic Healthcare (SHL) approached the independent directors of Independent Practitioner Network Limited (IPN) to make a conditional non-binding proposal to increase its 71.5% stake in IPN to 100%, for 25c per share. SHL up 36c to 1473c.
  • Tattersalls down another 5% and Tabcorp down 1.7%. Tabcorp is now down 28.2% from the high of the month. Tattersalls is down 30.3%.

In the MARCUS TODAY newsletter we have an article called Lucky Widow about shaking the money tree and seeing what falls out. All the PE’s and YIELDS in the ASX 200 also in the newsletter with a lot more of the stories and research and ideas doing the rounds.


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