The market is up 63 underperforming the 99 point rise predicted by the SFE Futures after Wall Street jumped nearly 6% overnight — its biggest rally in three months. Without the BHP contribution, the market would only be up 50. The Banks, Westfield and RIO lifting the market close to 20 points. Pretty quiet on the company news front. Most the miners up. Only gold and energy stocks down on the lower gold and oil price. Healthcare sector also down.

The Dow was up 379. Up all session. Closed on high. All sectors up. All 30 Dow stocks up. US Financials bounced off a 17 year lowup 15.6% as Citigroup announced they made a profit in the first two months of the year. Bank of America up 27%. The SEC may reinstate the up-tick rule for short selling. There’s hope that Congress or the SEC will remove financial “mark-to-market” accounting rules. Short-covering assisted the rally especially among financials. Wholesale inventories down, but slightly less than expected. Company earnings guidance mixed. Bernanke commented on regulation with talk of a “Super Regulator” — said economic recovery was likely in the 2nd half of 2009. BHP and RIO both up in ADR form overnight — 9.85% and 13.27% respectively. Metals all up. Oil and gold down. Bonds down. A$ up.

In the news today…

  • Macquarie Group (MQG) said strategic partner, WHG Group (WHG), will issue 30m convertible notes to MQG at $1 each.
  • Nexus Energy’s (NXS) shares suspended amid asset sales and debt raising talks — expects trade to resume on the 18th.
  • QBE Insurance (QBE) revise their DRP participation date.
  • Mirvac Group (MGR) said they have no information on why their share price fell Monday.
  • Sino Gold (SGX) increased their equity in Eastern Dragon another US$20m to a 95% stake, up from 80%.
  • Mineral Deposits (MDL) said their first Sabodala gold pour is imminent.
  • Giralia Resources (GIR) increases their resource at Western Creek.

Other…

  • A large call options purchase in the market yesterday partly helps explain the afternoon rally in Australia.
  • Copper stocks doing well on speculation Chinese imports rose last month and LME inventories fell for the 9th straight session. Freeport McMoRan up 5.7%. BHP and RIO have copper exposure but medium sized stocks such as Equinox (EQN) have a more direct copper price exposure.
  • Australian March consumer sentiment down 0.2% to 85.6 points from February — not a bad result and stronger-than-expected, given all the bad economic news recently.
  • January Australian housing finance up 3.5% vs December — economists were expecting +4.0%. Fairly strong result on the back of the government’s efforts to support new home buyer demand and aggressive interest rate cutting.
  • Citi says the federal government is unlikely to extend the guarantee of commercial banks’ term wholesale funding to state borrowing.
  • Telstra (TLS) kept at UNDERPERFORM by Macquarie Group with a price target of 360c — said a return from the $300m upgrade to the HFC cable network is not immediately obvious.

The Dow Jones futures suggest a 10 point rise on Wall Street tonight.

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

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