The market is up 14. The SFE Futures were up 33 this morning.

Wall St. closed up 133. The Dow index was up 177 at best and up 2 at worst. Light volume in the US last night. With the Thanksgiving holiday this week a lot of traders take the next two weeks off. Japan was closed yesterday. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard getting most of the credit for the overnight rise on Wall St suggesting the Fed should continue to buy mortgage backed securities beyond the planned Q1 2010 implying that the US Fed is going to keep stimulus measures in place and interest rates low for an extended period of time. The Aussie dollar increased to 92.43c from 91.50c yesterday morning. Gold up for the 7th straight day and hit an all time high of $1174.

Making the news today…

  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL) up 3.5% to 5041c — it held their Annual Investor Briefing today. It has reaffirmed output for 2009 to be within its guidance range. Talk out of London is that BHP might be thinking about launching a bid.
  • Toll Holdings (TOL) has broken its operations into three main business units and reshuffled management as it prepares to aggressively expand into Asia. TOL also announces today it has won a contract with the Australian Department of Defence that could be worth around $2bn in revenue over 9 years. TOL up 2.18% to 843c.
  • Ramsay Health Care (RHC) CEO Chris Rex reaffirmed guidance of core net profit growth of 12-14% on next year. RHC down 1.3% to 1115c.
  • Analysts suggest Canada’s First Quantum is more likely to sell its 16% stake in Equinox Minerals (EQN) and reap a C$200m capital gain rather than bid for it. EQN last traded at 417c.
  • Both bidders for Polaris Metals (POL), Mineral Resources (MIN) and Malaysia’s Lion Group, have lifted their takeover offers. MIN is offering one of its shares and 10 cents cash for every 10 Polaris shares, valuing POL at 81.3c a share or $143.5m. Lion Group says it plans to up its bid to 74c cash per POL share from 70c, giving POL a value of $130.6m.
  • Suncorp (SUN) has released a market update this morning. Says positive there are good opportunities to divest non-core assets, its funding position is secure and its core margins are likely to remain stable.
  • Street Talks this morning talks up the possibility of Sims Metal Management (SGM) making a significant acquisition. SGM down 1.03%
  • Billabong International (BBG) will acquire US based online boardsports retailer BBG up 11c to 1021c.
  • China’s GDP growth over 10% by year end – China’s State Council Development Research Centre has forecast the Chinese economy will expand more than 10% in the fourth quarter against a weak 4th Q in 2008. Chinese banks rallied yesterday in Hong Kong.

The Dow Futures were down 10 close to midday

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

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