The market is up 15 in line with the SFE Futures predicted this morning. Gold and Healthcare stocks going along nicely. Quiet day on the news front. Seems as if the market is taking a bit of a breather on the announcement front.

Another good night on Wall Street — Dow Jones up 89 — Up 204 at best. Down 109 at worst. Positive economic data got the session started on a positive note with durable goods and new home sales coming in better-than-expected. Stocks fell in the afternoon on fears about the government’s fund raising ability but then recovered thanks to a strong auction bid for the government debt. BHP up 1.36% in ADR form, RIO down 1.16%. Oil price down 2.1% to $52.24. Gold up $12.

Brambles (BXB) says the PepsiCo contract represents only 0.7% of overall sales and that new business for 1H09 will add around US$80m of annual sales. Also adds the CHEP business model is robust. Surprisingly not a lot broker research this morning on the stock. JP Morgan saying the 11.9% fall yesterday was harsh and has raised its recommendation to Overweight from Neutral. Macquarie Equities on the other hand maintain their Underperform recommendation and 547c target price.

In the news today…

  • BHP Billiton (BHP) has priced its Euro medium term notes.
  • Babcock & Brown Infrastructure (BBI) says it will begin due diligence on the planned sale of its Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal in central QLD after receiving interest.
  • Iluka Resources (ILU) has brought forward the idling of one of its synthetic rutile kilns in WA because of lower demand.
  • Gunns (GNS) has come to an agreement with its Hardwood Woodchip Price Settlement — price settlement same as 2008.
  • iSOFT (IBA) has won new projects in Latin America.
  • Programmed Maintenance (PRG) has provided an operational update.
  • Telstra (TLS) has appointed Nerida Caesar as the MD of its Telstra Wholesale division.
  • Transpacific Industries (TPI) has updated shareholders with its capital structure review. Says talks are continuing with bankers and investors.
  • Transfield Services (TSE) has appointed Peter Goode as its CEO.

Broker stuff today…

  • Citi cut ANZ Bank (ANZ) to Hold from Buy saying it has done its dash. Up 23% in the past two weeks. Their preferred picks in the sector remain ANZ and National Australia Bank (NAB).
  • Merrill Lynch expects the FIRB to approve the Rio Tinto (RIO) — Chinalco transaction. They have a Buy recommendation and 5400c target price.
  • UBS Warburg has cut Wesfarmers (WES) to Neutral from Buy despite lifting its target price to 1908c from 1815c due to recent share price outperformance.

The Dow Future suggests a 31 point rise on Wall Street tonight.

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

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