The market is up 15. The SFE Futures were up 46 this morning.

Wall St. closed up 22 overnight and closed at a new yearly high. Dow up 2 at best and down 63 at worst. With the Dow Futures down over 80 early yesterday, many were expecting a negative session in the US overnight. The oil price fell 43c to $68.86 and Gold also fell $5.30 to $1001. The Aussie fell a touch to 86.16c versus 86.19c yesterday morning.

Telstra (TLS) down 4.6% to 310c after the federal government said it has asked Telstra to separate its retail and wholesale business, or face a forceful functional separation and be barred from acquiring anyone in the mobile spectrum.

In other news…

  • Cochlear (COH) CEO Chris Roberts says the US response to its Nucleus 5 hearing aid system had been positive but is yet to provide profit guidance. COH up 60c to 6261c.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) has sold 56% of its Alcan Engineered Products cable division to private equity group Platinum Energy for an undisclosed sum to improve its balance sheet. It might consider selling the rest when market conditions improve. RIO up 1.7% to 5909c.
  • Macquarie Airport (MAP) says Denmark’s aviation authority has approved an agreement governing aeronautical charges at its 26.9% owned Copenhagen Airport until March 2015. MAP up 2c to 244c.
  • Sims Metal (SGM) CEO Dan Dienst says the company is looking for acquisitions and expects further consolidation in the scarp metal market. SGM down 12c to 2328c.
  • James Hardie (JHX) CEO Louis Gries says the US housing market hasn’t bottomed just yet but is close to doing so. It expects better US housing starts in March-May 2010 and has described its FY10 guidance as “conservative”. JHX down 3c to 709c.
  • Woolworths (WOW) says it plans to build 30 home improvement stores in Victoria over the next 5 years as part of its JV with Lowe’s Cos. WOW up 18c to 2854c.
  • Toll Holdings (TOL) CEO Paul Little says told reporters at a New York investment conference that performance in August has outdone expectations. TOL up 2c to 852c.
  • Brambles (BXB) — TOL CEO Paul Little says he has moved on from any potential tie-up with Brambles. It hasn’t worried the BXB share price, up 2% first thing. BXB up 14c to 764c.
  • Toro Energy (TOE) has raised $40m to advance key uranium projects. TOW down 12% to 20.5c.

The Dow Futures were down 22 at midday.

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

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