The market is struggling again today — down 59 — the SFE Futures suggested a 38 point fall in the market this morning.

Dow closed down 107 — closed on its lows. Down 294 in two days. Dow up 32 at best down 113 at worst. Volumes were light. Metals mixed. Oil price down slightly. Gold up. A$ down small to 79.25c.

Rio Tinto is ex entitlement to their rights issue today and its price has adjusted to the ex rights price (5776c) from 7323c. RIO now at 5871c, up 95c. The rights will start trading under the code RIOR which are trading at 2948c.

In the news today…

  • Stockland Group (SGP) announced late yesterday that it raised $420m in its retail entitlement offer and this morning that it will split its residential business into a residential communities and apartments division and a standalone retirement living unit.
  • Asciano (AIO) has lifted its trading halt — it has upped the institutional component of its 1 for 1 equity raising by $350m to $2.35bn. Done at 110c. Price has adjusted by a factor of 0.8005 this morning and dropped 19c to 127c, down 13% on the theoretical ex rights price.
  • Gloucester Coal (GCL) has appointed 5 new directors to the board and the Noble offer has closed with 87.7% acceptance.
  • CSR Ltd (CSR) is demerging its sugar and renewable energy businesses. They are looking to create two separate listed businesses, one for sugar and renewable energy and other for its building products, property and aluminium businesses.
  • ACCC says it won’t oppose Woolworths (WOW) acquisition of supermarket operator Macro Life because it won’t lessen competition.
  • Suncorp-Metway (SUN) plans to buyback up to $500m worth of its subordinated notes. After the buyback, its capital ratios will remain ahead of internal targets and regulatory requirements.
  • Hastie Group (HST) has completed its $77m capital raising.
  • ING Office Fund (IOF) in a trading halt — planning capital planning initiatives.
  • ThinkSmart (TSM) has extended its relationship with JB Hi-Fi (JBH).
  • Macquarie Group (MQG) is deferring implementing changes to its remuneration structure as a result of the government’s taxation plan for employee share schemes.
  • SP Ausnet (SPN) has completed its $408m entitlement offer.

In other news…

  • There is talk that Boart Longyear (BLY) have a capital raising and share purchase plan (SPP) coming up.
  • Most brokers have maintained their Buy recommendations on Lihir Gold (LGL) despite it announcing a profit downgrade yesterday. GSJB Were, RBS Equities and Macquarie Group all say Buy, Citi say Hold.
  • Australian housing starts fell 4% in 1Q from the last quarter. Economists expected a 3% fall.
  • Southern Cross Equities says we should be buying Fortescue Metals (FMG) and Aquila Resources (AQA) because they both will be big long-term winners.
  • The economic activity index showed the economy contracted at an annualized rate of 3.5% in April, compared with the annualized contraction of 5.1% in March, indicating the worst of the global financial crisis is over,

The Dow Futures suggest a 16 point rise on Wall Street tonight.

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

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