The market is up 70. The SFE Futures were up 81 points this morning.

Wall St. had a good session — closed up 200. Up 207 at best and down 4 at worst. Better than expected 3Q GDP numbers drove up the market. The US economy returns to growth heralding the apparent “abatement” (in Obama’s words) of the US recession. As one White House official put it “When the Obama Administration took over we were lost in the woods. We have now found the highway but we are still a long way from the destination.” 1% of last night’s US 3rd Q GDP rise of 3.5% was thanks to the cash for clunkers car subsidy program. House purchases contributed the most in two years up 3.4%. There is still 50% of the US Government stimulus package waiting to be spent.

Making the news today…

  • MQG RESULT AHEAD OF FORECASTS — Macquarie Group (MQG) announced a 1H net profit of $479m, a bit better than the $465.4m analysts had expected. MQG up 1.5% to 4999c.
  • BHP CEO Marius Kloppers told shareholders at the AGM in London that he was interested in signing more JV’s similar to their 50:50 iron ore deal with Rio. BHP’s strategy, he says, basically constrains them to large, low-cost, long-life, expandable assets that are export oriented. He wants to stay away from small distressed companies. BHP up 1.2% to 3760c.
  • Macquarie Infrastructure (MIG) is splitting its portfolio of roads into two separately listed entities — it will create a standalone entity holding MIG’s main assets — 407 ETR and Westlink M7 motorways — to be called “Mature MIG”. There will also be a managed entity holding the remaining assets to be described as “active MIG”. It plans to unlock value in MIG as it provides security holders with greater clarity around the investment profile of the two separate portfolios. MIG up 6c to 142.5c.
  • Crane Group (CRG) says 1H profit after tax is expected to be down 50% as continuing difficult market conditions affect earnings. CRG down 12% to 900c.
  • Insurance Australia Group (IAG) is on track to deliver on its earnings and revenue margin guidance after a big improvement in the underlying performance on the business in the 1Q. IAG up 3% to 382c.
  • Aquila Resources (AQA) in a trading halt ahead of the response from the FIRB relating to Baosteel Group’s planned investment in the company. AQA unchanged at 718c.
  • Australian Worldwide Exploration (AWE) released its quarterly report. 1Q revenue came in at $109m and reduced its FY production guidance to 6.5m of oil equivalent. AWE up 1c to 260c.
  • Sims Metal (SGM) says its 1Q net profit fell 77% to $33.3m, from $145.1m a year ago. Sales fell 49% to $1.8bn. It will provide additional guidance at its AGM on November 20. SGM down 2.52% to 1970c.
  • Origin Energy (ORG) reiterated its profit guidance for the year, 2010 and said its Australian operations have performed in line with expectations over the 1Q. ORG up 21c to 1587c.

The Dow Futures were up 8 at midday.

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

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