The market is down 2. We were down 26 earlier this morning. The SFE Futures were down 2 overnight.

The Dow Jones closed had a quiet session closing up 14 overnight. Dow up 56 at best and down 76 at worst. European markets down as well overnight — FTSE (UK) down 1.12%, DAX (Germany) down 0.56% and France down 1.27%. Oil down for the 7th straight session. Gold also down $20.

Australia jobs numbers are slightly better than expected this morning. Unemployed up 12.6% on the month and up 41.2% on the year. Unemployment rate 5.8% against some expectations for 5.9%. Up from 5.7% last month.

Making the news today…

  • CSR Ltd (CSR) management says it expects to report pretax earnings growth (didn’t provide a range), before extraordinary items for FY10. 1H has been challenging, especially in their building products division. No debt issues as it is operating well within its debt covenants.
  • Virgin Blue (VBA) has agreed to a tie-up with Delta Air Lines that will expand its operations between the US and Australia and across the South Pacific. The JV requires regulatory approval but both argue it will allow them to better compete against larger players.
  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) has won a $500m contract to prepare the site and construct temporary facilities for the Chevron Corp operated Gorgon liquefied natural gas project in WA.
  • Kagara (KZL) announces the FIRB has approved the 19.9% investment from Guangdong, who spent $57m buying the stake at 60c.
  • Salmat (SLM) has appointed Chad Barton as its new CEO.

Also in the news…

  • The press says Rio Tinto is on the verge of selling its packaging units to Amcor (AMC) for between $US2.2bn-$US2.4bn.
  • Lots of talk regarding Seven Network’s Kerry Stokes making a bid for Consolidated Media Holdings (CMJ) on rumours it was SEV that bought 10.3% of CMJ yesterday.
  • JP Morgan expected CSL Ltd (CSL) to announce a FY profit before one-off items of $1.04bn, or around 2% above consensus forecasts of $1.03bn. They have an Overweight recommendation and 3784c target price.
  • One broker warns that ConnectEast (CEU) will have to undertake a capital raising and has cut its recommendation to Underperform. It says any potential bidder would have to bring its own debt package.
  • The July Australian inflationary expectations survey says prices are expected to increase by 3.2% in the next year, up from +2.8% in June.

The Dow Futures are up 41 at midday.

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

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