The market is up 24 this morning. The SFE Futures were up 11 overnight.

Wall St. closed up 56 overnight, registering its third straight positive session. The Dow was up 70 at best and down 1 at worst. Metals had a strong session as did the oil price, which broke through the $70 mark. Oil price was up $2.99 to $71.10 and the Aussie dollar was up to 86.36c versus 85.21c yesterday morning.

In the news today … a little quiet on the news front.

  • Cochlear (COH) is set to acquire Otologics Technology for $US25m.
  • Gindalbie Metals (GBG) has received environmental approval for its $1.8bn Karara iron ore project. GBG up 4% to 91c.
  • Paladin Energy (PDN) in a trading halt ahead of its planned institutional private placement for up to 15% of its issued capital. PDN last traded at 490c.
  • Gold getting a lot of attention for the recent rally and the fact that it is currently flirting with the previous high of $1002 although the intraday high was US$1033. Since the 20th August Lihir is up 28% and Newcrest up 18%. The price is doing a bit of work here….everyone looking for a gold price break one way or the other. If it can’t break the old highs Lihir, Newcrest and the others are looking vulnerable.
  • Speculation continues to mount that James Packer is selling assets to help fund a privatization of Crown (CWN). On the flipside, there is the suggestion that he is raising cash to buy gaming assets. CWN up 4c to 829c.
  • Oz Minerals (OZL) have announced some management changes. Hasn’t done much for the share price, up 2.5c to 108c.
  • Commonwealth Bank’s (CBA) CEO Ralph Norris has received a 6% pay rise. His fixed salary increased 4% to $3.25m and his long term performance rights were increased by 51% to $1.94m. CBA down 17c to 4666c.
  • Australian consumer sentiment increased 5.2% in September, its highest level since July 2007.
  • Retail Sales fell seasonally adjusted 1.0% in July compared to a 0.5% rise economists expected.
  • Housing finance approvals fell a seasonally adjusted 2% in July from June, in line with the 2% fall economists expected.
  • Brockman Resources (BRM), Lion Nathan (LNN), Toll Holdings (TOL) and Whitehaven Coal (WHC) have all hit a fresh yearly high.

The Dow Futures are down 12 at midday.

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

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