The market is up 24, outperforming the 10-point rise predicted by the SFE Futures this morning. The major miners are mostly up, with RIO leading the way. Banks mixed and Property Trusts are in the red after Citi put out a piece of negative research on industry leader Westfield.

The Dow was up 68. Up 129 at best. Down 103 at worst. The second $350bn half of the TARP bailout has been passed through the Senate to Treasury to deploy. Financials down 2.4% — down 16.5% for the week. The Bank of America will receive another $20bn infusion from the government to assist in the Merrill Lynch acquisition — missed 4Q results expectations and cut its dividend. Citigroup posted 4Q results below expectations. Technology stocks up 1.0% — Intel reported results in-line with expectations. Healthcare up 1.0%. UK’s Gordon Brown is set to announce another massive stimulus package to assist the flailing banks. Metals mixed on Friday. Oil down 3c to $35.38 on a major world energy report indicating demand for crude is likely to fall through 2009. Oil down 11% for the week. Gold down $32.60 to $839.90. Bonds down with the 10 year yield up to 2.33%. A$/US$ at 67.69c.

In the news today…

  • BHP Billiton have no comment regarding the article in The Australian that it will close its $2.2bn Ravensthorpe laterite nickel mine in WA.
  • CFS Retail Property Trust (CFX) has agreed to sell its Golden Grove Village Shopping Centre in South Australia to a private investor for $100m.
  • Origin Energy (ORG) announce their Uranquinty Power Station in NSW became fully operational last week.
  • United Group (UGL) has been awarded a $78m contract to supply 12 diesel electric locomotives to Australian transport company QR.
  • PanAust Limited (PNA) in a trading halt with plans to undertake a share placement.
  • Great Southern Limited (GTP) in a trading halt.
  • The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is restructuring its Premium Business Services division.

Broker stuff today…

  • Credit Suisse cut their recommendation on BHP Billiton to Neutral from Outperform and their target price to 3350c from 3800c saying at 3100c “the risk-reward relationship is now not so attractive.”
  • Citi have cut their recommendation on Westfield to Hold from Buy and their target price to 1295c from 1700c but continue to like WDC’s long term quality assets.
  • GSJB Were said Rio Tinto’s production report was in line with their expectations. They maintain their Hold recommendation and 4866c target price.

Other stuff…

  • US Markets are closed tonight in recognition of Martin Luther King birthday.
  • Access Economics getting a lot of media coverage with their report on the Australian economy suggesting a recession this year. Wayne Swan says the economy is not “buggered”.

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