The market is up 1. Up 33 at best. A little disappointing considering the SFE Futures were up 42 overnight.

Wall Street had another positive session. The Dow closed up 104, its sixth rise on the trot and is now in positive territory for this calendar year. The NASDAQ closed higher for the ninth consecutive session. Oil and Gold closed up, as did the Aussie dollar to 81.59c. Awaiting Ben Bernanke’s testimony on the US economy tonight

Access Economics says the Australian economy might have survived the worst of the credit crisis, predicting unemployment will peak at only 7.5% by the end of 2010, down from 8.5%. It also expects GDP growth in fiscal 2009-10 of +0.4%, compared to a -0.2% contraction previously forecast.

Making the news today…

  • Orica (ORI) has reiterated its profit guidance for FY09 (it will be higher than last year’s $572.3m) but warned that it cannot see any signs of a sustainable recovery.
  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) says one of its JV’s has won a $410m Hong Kong sewage tunneling project. LEI also completed a $230m five-year fixed medium term notes issuance to replace existing bank debt facilities.
  • Harvey Norman (HVN) announces a 3.8% rise in sales for fiscal 2009. Sales totaled $6.03bn for the year, compared to $5.81bn in fiscal 2008. FY like-for-like sales were up 1.4%. 4Q sales up 4.5% to $1.49bn and 4Q like-for-like sales were up 2% from last year. HVN down 5% straight after the announcement.
  • Dexus Property Group (DXS) has completed its $160m MTN issue.
  • Oz Minerals (OZL) — quarterly production report — it produced 44,221 ounces of gold in its second fiscal quarter. It had output of 47,005 metric tons of copper and produced 96,387 tons of zinc.
  • Deep Yellow (DYL) provides an exploration update at its Mount Isa district.
  • Avoca Resources (AVO) has upped its shareholder in Dioro to 19.03%.
  • One broker is predicting a bidding war for Consolidated Media Holdings (CMJ). It expects Seven Network (SEV) to launch a takeover bid, and predicts the possibility of Lachlan Murdoch’s private investment vehicle, Illyria, or News Corp. (NWS) having a crack, possibly pushing the takeover price to 400c a share.

In other news…

  • The RBA has released the minutes from its previous board meeting. No major surprises. Unlikely to see any interest rate rises in the near future. One economist did say it is likely the RBA is done with cutting rates.
  • Australian vehicle sales were up 5.7% in June from May.
  • China State Construction Engineering Corp will be the world’s biggest IPO after raising $7.3bn. It is China’s largest housing contractor.
  • Private company Aussie Home Loans says refinancing accounted for 38.5% of home loans written in June, up 30.2% from March.

The Dow Futures are down 31.

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

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