Solid start to the week. The market is up 35. The SFE Futures were up 2 this morning.

Wall St closed down 36 on Friday, ending eight straight days of gains. Dow up 50 at best and down 85 at worst. Both oil and gold finished higher, as did the Aussie dollar at 84.22c versus 83.86c Friday morning.

The main event on the diary this week is the RBA’s interest rate decision tomorrow. Economists are expecting no change. AGM season also starts.

ANZ Bank has released its trading update. Described as pretty good with no nasty surprises. Underlying earnings “tracking slightly above” the comparable period in 2008 for the first 10 months. There were also some encouraging comments from ANZ CEO Mike Smith.

  • Felix Resources (FLX) up 1c — it has announced a 42% rise in FY09 profit but the focus is on Yanzhou’s $18 a share takeover offer.
  • Street Talk suggests an acquisition might be on the cards for Caltex Australia (CTX) after it pulled it’s 1H dividend. Its gearing stands at 16%. CTX down 7c.
  • Molopo Australia (MPO) in a trading halt. Last traded at 120c.
  • Elders (ELD) in a trading halt — last traded at 39c — “pending finalisation of the terms of a comprehensive recapitalisation and refinancing”.
  • Gunns (GNS) — still in a trading halt — reported a slight fall in annual profit and plans to raise $145 million via a share placement to buy ITC Timber from Elders for $100 million.
  • Harvey Norman (HVN) up another 9% this morning on the back of broker upgrades following its better-than-expected profit result on Friday.
  • PaperlinX (PPX)  up 2.3% — announced a FY09 net loss of $798.2 million, which included significant items of $727.9 million. No final dividend. Cost-cutting measures should result in an improvement in underlying earnings but outlook comments are very cautious.
  • Street Talk suggests an acquisition might be on the cards for Caltex Australia (CTX) after it pulled it’s 1H dividend. Its gearing stands at 16%.
  • Elders (ELD) in a trading halt “pending finalisation of the terms of a comprehensive recapitalisation and refinancing.”
  • Gunns (GNS) — still in a trading halt — reported a slight fall in annual profit and plans to raise $145 million via a share placement to buy ITC Timber from Elders for $100 million.
  • Inflation Gauge in August came in unchanged after a 0.9% rise in July. The gauge is up 1.7% in year to August. Other economic releases today: Home Sales Figures for July; Corporate Profits seen falling 4.5% in second quarter; Inventories seen falling 1.1% last quarter; Private Sector Credit seen rising 0.2% From June.
  • Twenty-five stocks have hit a fresh yearly high this morning: Notables include NAB, ANZ, Harvey Norman, Macquarie Group and GUD Holdings.

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

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