The market is up 10. We were down 29 at one stage. The SFE Futures were down 21 this morning.

The Dow closed down 11 overnight. Up 16 at best and down 101 at worst. Consumer confidence numbers disappointed but the Case Shiller house price index was better than expected. The Nasdaq closed up for the 14th day in 15 sessions. Oil price down $1.11 overnight, Gold was also down $14 to $939. Aussie dollar was up to 82.66c versus 82.32c yesterday morning.

Macquarie Group (MQG) held its AGM today has released its presentation and earnings guidance. It is cautiously optimistic. The stock is up 21% in the past two weeks. They forecast 1H profit to be halfway between the levels reported in the first and second halves of fiscal 2009 — which is somewhere between $267m and $604m. CEO Nicholas Moore says it will maintain a conservative approach to funding and capital. MQG up 2.3% today.

In the news today…

  • The National Australia Bank (NAB) has announced it has bought 80.1% of GSJB Were’s Australian and New Zealand private wealth business for $99m. GSJB Were will retain a 19.9% ownership stake in the JV and rebrand it JBWere. The Nab also said it will axe its $30 overdraft fee from all of its personal savings accounts and personal transactions from October 1. Nab down 1c to 2307c.
  • Talk of Newcrest (NCM) being bid for by Newmont. Street Talk says NCM would make a great acquisition for Newmont considering NCM has $365m of cash sitting on its balance sheet and a gearing ratio of less than 1%.
  • Virgin Blue (VBA) up 14% after completing its institutional placement of 105.2m shares to raise $21m and an institutional entitlement offer of 560.4m share to raise $112.1m.
  • Riversdale Mining (RIV) said mine production from the Zululand Anthracite Colliery in South Africa fell 11.8% to 809,259 metric tons.
  • Goodman Group (GMG) has appointed Ian Ferrier as its independent chairman.
  • Dioro (DIO) announced it will recommend to shareholders Avoca’s (AVO) improved unconditional takeover offer of 1 AVO share for every 2.3 DIO shares held.
  • Coal stocks doing well today after The Australian reported that India is about to embark on a rapid coal sector acquisition program in Australia. The world’s biggest coal producer, state-owned Coal India, is calling for expressions of interest from potential coal mining partners by the end of August as it looks to close the gap between supply and demand.
  • Incitec Pivot (IPL) has named James Fazzino as its new CEO.

Also in the news…

  • Southern Cross Equities maintains its Buy recommendation on Telstra (TLS) and says investors should buy the stock heading into the FY result.
  • Merrill Lynch ups its recommendation on Ansell (ANN) to Buy from Neutral and has a 970c target price.
  • Credit Suisse ups Alesco (ALS) to Outperform from Neutral and lifts its target price to 510c from 375c. RBS Equities also upped its target price to 417c from 366c, as did JP Morgan to 519c from 420c.
  • Oroton Group (ORL) and Retail Food Group (RFG) hit fresh yearly highs today.

The Dow Futures were down 8 at midday.

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

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