The market is down 25 – down 72 at worst — about double the 37 point fall predicted by the SFE Futures this morning. Resources underperforming — down 2.4%. BHP and RIO down 3.2% and 2.4%. Energy stocks down 4.0% on the lower oil price (-8.5%) — Origin down 3.3% and Woodside down 5.4%. Fortescue down another 3.0% – in the process of getting sued $180m by Splendour Special Maritime Enterprise due to an alleged 5-year ship charter cancellation. Oz Minerals in a trading halt until the 29th of December as it explores all options to solve its dire debt position and liquidity problems — looking at selling entire company, selling certain assets or raising capital. Financials up 0.3% and banks mixed. Big industrials down 0.6%. Little news, quite day after low volumes on Wall Street last night.

The Dow was down 219. Up 59 at best. Down 297 at worst. George Bush considering an “orderly bankruptcy” as a solution to the impending collapse of the auto industry — something of a “soft-landing” and perhaps a “Chapter 11 bankruptcy.” General Motors down 13%. Obama’s crew assembling a two-year stimulus plan worth US$850bn – focusing on new jobs, middle-class tax relief, and expanded aid for the poor and unemployed. Material stocks down considerably. Gold down $7.90 to $860.60. Treasuries up with yields falling to all-time new lows. Fed Ex and Nike top earnings.

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  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) says its higher impairment expectations were not material.
  • Macquarie Airports (MAP) – November traffic fell 2.6% from last year. Closure of the Bangkok International Airport impacted traffic.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) has had their rating lowered by Standard & Poor to ‘BBB/A-3’ due to higher debt and “market downturn”.
  • Paperlinx (PPX) gave an update on European property sales saying some sales will be complete by early 2009. Said it will breach lending covenants and is in talks with lenders. Said earnings for the period will be 15% lower.
  • Atlas Iron (AGO) has entered into a long term off-take agreement with a medium-sized Chinese steel mill.
  • Futuris (FCL) says it has no idea why its share price fell to 63c from 78c this week.
  • Cour d’Alene Mines (CXC) has enhanced its liquidity position by entering into a new $20m facility with Mitsubishi International Corporation.
  • Molopo Australia (MPO) completes first triple seam dual lateral well.

Broker Stuff today…

  • Plenty of downgrades from brokers this morning on Ten Network (TEN) after they announced their 1Q09 result and said it would cut its dividend by 80%. UBS and Citi both have Sell recommendations, Credit Suisse expects it to Underperform as does Macquarie Equities who has a 77c target price.
  • UBS Warburg has lowered its target price on Minara Resources (MRE) to 34c from 55c and cut its earnings estimates due to anticipation of a low nickel prices in calendar year 09.
  • Macquarie Equities cut Orica (ORI) to Neutral from Outperform saying they expect 1% EPS growth in FY09 and that the stock will trade at a discount as uncertainty eases.

Other stuff today…

  • The Dow Futures suggest a 28 point fall on Wall Street tonight. 

MARCUS PADLEY is the Author of the MARCUS TODAY Daily Stockmarket Newsletter.

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