The market is down 45. The SFE Futures were down 40 points this morning.

Wall St. down 104 overnight. The Dow was up 100 at best and down 123 at worst. Market gave away early gains with all ten S&P 500 sectors finishing lower. Metals were mixed. Both the oil and gold price fell for the third consecutive day, 2.26% and 1.29% respectively. The Aussie dollar fell to 91.61c from 92c.

Making the news today…

  • PearlStreet (PST) up 35% to 73.5c after agreeing to an upped cash takeover offer from Campbell Brothers (CPB) — it is offering 75c a share or $108.3m and its directors have unanimously recommended it, “in the absence of a superior proposal”. The deal needs 90% minimum acceptance condition. CPB up 2% to 2850c.
  • Macquarie Group (MQG) has confirmed it will acquire CI Financial’s brokerage arm, Blackmont Capital, for $US89m to add to its Canadian capital markets business it previously purchased. MQG, announces its result on Friday, down 1.3% to 5248c.
  • Billabong (BBG) held its AGM this morning — it expects to report 10% net profit growth in fiscal 2010, but expects 5% growth when including an impairment charge. Currency continues to hurt the bottom line. Management expects a strong 2H in constant currency terms. BBG down 1.1% to 1082c.
  • ING Industrial Fund (IIF) — Trading Halt — announces a $700m capital raising to repay debt. Expect debt to fall from $1.6bn to $900m. Says it will hold high quality industrial and business park assets in markets where it can drive portfolio performance. It will also recommence paying a distribution in calendar 2010, expected to be 3.21c. IIF last traded at 60c.
  • Computershare (CPU) acquires HBOS Employee Equity Solutions from Lloyds Banking Group for $70.72m. CPU down 3c to 1086c.
  • BT Investment Management (BTT) announces their FY09 result on Thursday. Analysts on average expect cash NPAT of $26.1m, down 34% on last year.
  • United Group (UGL) down 3.2% to 1334c after its second largest shareholder Concord Capital said it is continuing to reduce its exposure to the company.
  • Aditya Birla (ABY) says it has no idea why its share price fell nearly 12% yesterday and is down another 4% today. It has gone from 165c to 116.5c in no time. It is still taking legal advice on getting the right to 8 exploration tenements near its Nifty mine in WA, which expired last month.
  • Stocks hitting fresh yearly highs this morning: Amalgamated Holdings (AHD), Euroz Ltd (EZL). Those hitting yearly lows include Anglo Pacific (AGP), Clean Seas Tuna (CSS) and Citigold Corp (CTO).

The Dow Futures were unchanged at midday.

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

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