The market is up 11. The SFE Futures were up 17 this morning.

Wall St closed up 47. The Dow was up 47 at best and down 38 at worst. Oil finished higher for the 8th consecutive session — up $2.40 to $77.58. Gold fell over $14.10 but the Aussie dollar continued its impressive run against the US$ — now at 92.07c versus 91.45c yesterday morning. Plenty of economic data overnight kept the market busy.

A bit quiet on the news front…

  • The AFR was on the money this morning: United Minerals (UMC) is up 38.5% to 126c after its board recommended a $204m cash bid from BHP Billiton (BHP), still below the 130c takeover price BHP is offering. BHP up 48c to 3938c.
  • BHP Billiton is also expected to release an update next Wednesday along with its quarterly report, which will quantify the damage incurred after a failure at its Clark haulage shaft at Olympic Dam last week.
  • Harvey Norman (HVN) has released its 1Q sales numbers. 1Q sales were up 4.3% on the year with like-for-like sales up 2.1%. Patersons maintain their Hold recommendation. HVN down 7.8% to 438c.
  • Around 2.6m Clive Peeters (CPR) shares changed hands yesterday, close to 10x the daily average. CPR closed at a 17 month high of 66c, increasing speculation that it will be bid for by either Harvey Norman (HVN), JB Hi-Fi (JBH) or even private equity, even though they have said they aren’t interested at the moment. The stock is up another 7.5% today to 71c, adding to the rise of 109.5% in the past month and 371.4% in the past quarter.
  • Good for Rural Stocks — New Zealand’s PGG Wrightson shot up 37% after signing a deal with a Chinese backer. Can only be good for rural stocks such AWB, Elders, GrainCorp that have been thrown up as potential takeover targets. Street Talk tells us that a Chinese party has been named as the preferred bidder for AWB and Elders Hi-Fert JV.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) said the proposed carbon pollution reduction scheme needs to be amended or its will hurt Australia’s mining industry and cost jobs. RIO up 44c to 6524c.
  • Giralia (GIR) up 7% after announcing “a significant hematite iron ore discovery” at its 100% owned McPhee Creek project.
  • Macquarie Airports (MAP) has completed its internalization of its management. MAP down 3c to 282c.
  • Stocks hitting fresh yearly highs include: Breville Group (BRG) which has been bid for, Domino Pizza (DMP), James Hardie (JHX), Qantas Airways (QAN) and Westpac Bank (WBC).

The Dow Futures were up 14 at midday.

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

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