The market is up 2. The SFE Futures suggested an 18 point fall this morning. Both BHP and RIO down 2% after putting on around 8% each on Friday after announcing their iron ore JV deal.

The Dow Jones closed up slightly — 1.4 or 0.02% — it was down 130 at one stage last night. Oil price down, it briefly broke $70 on Friday, Gold down $10 and Bonds fell.

SHARE BUYBACK — CSL Ltd (CSL) announces it will undertake a $1.59bn share buyback after the $3.1bn takeover of Talecris fell through. They will buyback around 54.9m, or around 9% of the stock at $29 each. CSL is expected to keep a modest amount of gearing on its balance sheet. The buyback will begin June 23.

Making the news today…

  • JB Hi-Fi (JBH) has announced a profit upgrade — now expects FY net profit to be around $92m, up 41% from last year and up from previous guidance of $87.1m.
  • Mirvac Group (MGR) has completed its $922m institutional equity raising. It will use the capital to cut debt.
  • Telstra (TLS) has awarded expanded application development and maintenance contracts to EDS and Infosys and renewed an infrastructure management contract with IBM.
  • Oz Minerals (OZL) says it has received two recapitalization proposals, but neither matched the certainty and value offered from Minmetals. Shareholders will vote on the Minmetals deal on Thursday. Apparently one of the two proposals came from Macquarie Group.
  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL) has exercised an option to undertake around $75m worth of forest carbon sink plantings for its Pluto liquefied natural gas project.
  • Lend Lease Corp. (LLC) has received subpoenas from the US Federal Attorney and New York District Attorney relating.
  • Atlas Iron (AGO) in a trading halt — plans a capital raising.
  • Origin Energy (ORG) cut its FY profit expectations to the bottom end of its previous guidance to take into account a profit warning from Contact Energy.
  • Coffey International (COF) has provided a trading update. It has lowered its full year earnings expectations.
  • Bunnings Warehouse Property Trust (BWP) has released market rent review results.
  • Lend Lease Primelife (LLP) – Valuation of portfolio is expected to see a fall of 30% in value. Its interest rate cover ratio is likely to be breached at June 30.

Other news…

  • Australian Business confidence improved in May — up 12 points to -2 – thanks to global financial markets stabilizing.
  • Business conditions fell 2 points to -14.
  • Job ads fell in May by 0.2%, down 49.1% on-year.
  • The Baltic Dry Index (barometer of bulk commodities activity) seems to have topped out – down sharply for the last two days:

The Dow Futures suggest a 22 point gain on Wall Street tonight.

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

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