The market is up 27 — was up 51 earlier — underperforming the 70 point rise predicted by the SFE Futures this morning.

The Dow was up 236. Up all session — up 264 at best. 6-session losing streak broken with broad-based gains. Best session in a month. Financials rebound 14.8% as Bernanke suggests economic recovery could start this year and after assuring the market that the banks wouldn’t be nationalised. Better-than-expected round of earnings announcements. US Home price index and consumer confidence plummet to record lows. BHP and RIO up 7.7% and 6% in the US . Metals up. Oil up 3.2%. Gold down $25.50. Bonds up, A$ up.

OZ Minerals (OZL) completely fell over this morning. Down 13c to 46c down 21.4% before rebounding to be down 8c at 51c. The fall was apparently because the stock was removed from some margin lender’s lists of approved stocks. The collapse has prompted a comment from OZ Minerals that:

Discussions (with their bankers) are very positive, they are ongoing, they are not complete yet… They won’t be concluded, I wouldn’t think, until Friday and they may not be concluded until quite late on Friday given that several of the banks in the syndicate are not based in Australia.

FORTESCUE DEAL — FMG have done the 26th Chinese deal with an Australian mining company in two years — it is somewhat disappointing for shareholders in the short term with the Chinese taking an equity stake at a 12.4% discount to the market price. FMG has also asked for suspension of its shares whilst it considers other capital raising initiatives. A $500m institutional placement is also now anticipated. FMG recently doubled on talk of a bid.

Main details: Hunan Valin to take a 16.5% stake in a deal worth $1.2bn. FMG selling 225m shares to Hunan Valin for A$558m…equivalent to a disappointing 248c per share compared to the share price at 283c….a 12.4% discount. Hunan Valin are also going to buy 275m shares in FMG from shareholder Harbinger Capital Partners (who will retain 7%). Hunan Valin to get a board seat and FMG has signed a Co-operation Agreement or offtake agreement with Valin and Hunan Valin Xiangtan Iron and Steel Co.

  • Financials up 0.5% following the 14.8% rise in the banks in the US overnight on the back of positive comments from Bernanke reassurance that the banks won’t be nationalized. All our banks up 1-2% early on.
  • Resources up 0.9% – BHP and RIO up 1.4% and 0.5% following significant jumps in the miners overnight in the US and a rise in metal prices.
  • Industrials up 2.0% – APN News and Media (APN) posted a FY NPAT loss of $24m. Final dividend will be 12c. Guides FY09 underlying NPAT to be $120m – in-line with consensus. Balance sheet in good shape. Doesn’t expect further jobs cuts. Expects a slow 1H09, picking up in the 2H.
  • Property up 3.2% after recent heavy falls – Westfield up 3.5%.
  • AGL Energy (AGK) posted 1H NPAT of $1.65bn up from a $22.9m net loss the year before on $1.53bn in asset sales. Misses guidance. Underlying profit was up 5.3% – below the consensus expectation. The rise was driven by a strong performance from its merchant energy and wholesale electricity businesses. AGL maintained its full year underlying earnings guidance for a net profit of $370 million-$400 million. Interim dividend of 26 – unchanged from last year.
  • WorleyParsons Ltd (WOR) posted 1H NPAT up 29.3% to $197.5m from $152.7m a year ago. Revenue up to $3.15bn – up 39.2% on-year. CEO said the result was strong. Expects “good growth” for the FY. Interim dividend of 38c in-line with last year.
  • Seven Network Ltd (SEV) posted 1H NPAT down 84% on-year to $20m from $126ma year ago. Down on impairments on assets including writing down the value of its stake in the Seven Media Group. Limited guidance. Management has pulled back on disclosure.
  • Pacific Brands (PBG) down posting earnings in-line with analyst’s expectations, excluding the previously flagged writedown. PBG wrote down $206.4m for the carrying value for a number of assets. NPAT was a loss of $150m down from a gain of $57.2m a year ago.
  • Goodman Group (GMG) down 18% at midday having posted a FY NPAT loss of $465.9m due to property and investment devaluations. NPAT a year ago was $284.9m. Revenue was down 95% from $611.2m. Expects 1H09 operating earnings per security to fall to 11.1c from 17.5c a year earlier on more property valuation losses and impairment charges for investments in ING Industrial Fund (IIF) and on foreign exchange derivatives.
  • Goodman Fielder (GFF) posted 1H NPAT down 21.9% on-year at $73.9m. Well below analysts’ expectations. Revenue up 12%. Dividend of 4.5c down from 6c a year ago.
  • Macquarie Airports (MAP) posted FY NPAT up 82.7% to $2.07bn from $1.11bn in 2007 due to the sale of its stakes in Brussels and Copenhagen Airports. Paid distribution of 14c – up from 13c a year ago. Revenue from continuing operations up 40.1%.
  • Macarthur Coal (MCC) posted 1H NPAT up to $106.9m from $13.5m a year ago on higher pulverised coal prices and higher tonnage. No interim dividend.
  • Seek Ltd (SEK) posted 1H NPAT down 9% on-year due to losses on investments in associates. Profit down to $32.5m from $35.6m despite a 9% gain in revenue. Interim dividend of 4.5c down from 8.7c a year ago.
  • Australia’s ABB Grain (ABB) purchased Zealand stock feed manufacturer NRM for A$31.7m. AGM revealed FY NPAT expected in the $63m-$73m range. Forecast reflects tough operating conditions.
  • Centro Retail Trust (CER) down on posting 1H NPAT loss of $2.06bn. Revenue down 21% to $80.3m.
  • APA Group (APA) posted 1H NPAT down 50% to $18m.
  • 4Q wage pressure came in high – labour cost index up +1.2% from the 3Q vrs the expected +0.9%. Falling wages lag slowing demand – so was somewhat expected.
  • Construction activity was firm at +1.7% for the quarter.
  • 3Q building work done was steady for the Q.
  • A$ up on the economic data.

The Dow Jones futures suggest an 11 point rise on Wall Street tonight.

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

For a free 21 day obligation free trial of the MARCUS TODAY newsletter (and no we won’t ask for a credit card number) please START A FREE TRIAL — you will receive two daily emails about the stockmarket, our MORNING EMAIL with all the stuff you need to know ahead of the trading day ahead and a DAILY EMAIL with all the midday events, news, comments and Ideas from Marcus and his Team.

You will also be given a password to the MARCUS TODAY website including access to all the emails as well as Educational, Entertaining and Researched Articles from Marcus and his Team and an archive where you can catch up on a whole week or month in just a few minutes. Or Browse at length. We are sure you will enjoy and profit from what we offer.