The market is down 45, in-line with the 78 point fall predicted by the SFE Futures this morning. It was down 97 at its worst point. Not a lot of company related news and no real theme this morning except everything’s down. Only the healthcare sector is in positive territory.

The Dow was down 299. Closed at new lows and went below the psychologically important 7000 level — over 50% off its all time high of 1400. All sectors down. US Energy, materials, financials and industrial stocks all down over 6% overnight. Rising fears about the capital positions of the world’s biggest banks and financial institutions. AIG received another $30bn injection, posting a quarterly loss of $61.7bn. HSBC Plc, Europe’s largest bank, posted a 70% fall in earnings for the year, said it needs to raise $17.7bn through a rights offer and will cut 6100 jobs. Reduced its dividend. US January personal spending up 0.6%. Incomes up 0.4%. Both a little better than expected. US January construction spending fell 3.3% — twice that expected. US February ISM manufacturing pulled-back for the 13th month in a row. BHP and RIO both down heavily in ADR form. Oil down. Gold down. US Bonds up. A$ down.

RBA Meeting Today. Decision at 2.30pm — lots of opinions about what they will do. A Dow Jones newswire consensus of 18 economists suggest a consensus for a 25bp cut. Terry McCrann made the call last weekend that they will leave rates unchanged “barring some cataclysm”.

Quiet day…

  • APA Group’s (APA) MD and CFO said their result was strong and that operating cashflow will continue to grow in the 2H09.
  • Albidon (ALB) suspends 10,000-ton Munali nickel sulfide mine in Zambia on low metal prices.
  • Goodman Group (GMG) notes Moody’s review for a potential downgrade of their rating.
  • Nido Petroleum (NDO) said up to 24.5m barrels were independently assessed at Tindalo.
  • Deep Yellow (DYL) said the uranium resource doubled at Toro`s Napperby Project.
  • Transportation stocks falling with the outlook for demand deteriorating.

Goodman Fielder’s (GFF) recommendation and price target getting slashed by brokers.

CSL is up today after its 6% fall yesterday.

GPT Group falling hard on UBS downgrade.

Goodman Group (GMG) down over 10% on Moody’s citing GMG for a possible rating downgrade.

The Dow Jones futures suggest a 25 point rise on Wall Street tonight.

US dollar hits its highest level since April 2006 against a basket of six major currencies — up over 1% overnight.

UBS Warburg has upped Oz Minerals (OZL) to buy from sell and its target price to 83c from 50c after extending its debt facilities.

The current account deficit narrowed more than expected to $6.5bn in 4Q from $9.5bn in 3Q. Economists expected a deficit of $7.5bn. Stronger-than-expected export numbers.

Retail turnover increased by a better-than-expected 0.2% in January 2009 — economists expected a 0.5% fall.

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

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