The market is up 14. The SFE Futures were up 10 this morning.

Wall St. finished up 35 overnight. The Dow was up 54 at best and down 47 at worst and finished November higher for the fifth month in a row – up 6.5%. The oil price closed up $1.23 to $77.29 and Gold put on $6.90 to $1181.10. The Aussie dollar crept higher to 91.52c, up from 91.25c yesterday morning.

Making the news today…

  • Tony Abbott is the new federal Liberal leader after a partyroom vote this morning. He will hold a press conference at 10.45am. For some reason all the girls in the office think he’s horrible and the general conclusion is that the Liberals will now be able to save Joe Hockey until they have a chance of winning an election which is not this time around. Some suggestions that Rudd should call an early election…
  • The RBA meets today. Some suggesting there will be no interest rate rise in light of the Dubai issue but they are in the minority. Interest rate decision at 2.30pm. 63% chance of a rise according to the Futures market.
  • Zijing Mining Group, a Chinese gold producer, has made a friendly $545m takeover offer for Indophil Resources (IRN). IRN directors have recommended the offer that values each share at 128c. Its biggest shareholder, Xstrata, has entered into a pre-bid agreement with the bidder. IRN up 10.6% to 120c.
  • Metcash (MTS) announces a 37% rise in 1H profit to $109.2m, up from $80 last year, slightly below analysts expectations of $112.3m. Revenue was up 6.5% to $5.66bn and reiterated its annual guidance of between 7-10% growth is EPS. It declared an interim dividend of 11c. MTS is competing with private equity group Anchorage Capital Partners to takeover hardware chain Mitre 10. MTS down 2.35% to 458c.
  • Lend Lease (LLC) has improved its takeover offer for Lend Lease Primelife to 35c from 31c and has made it final. The directors of LL Primelife unanimously recommend the bid in absence of a superior proposal. LLC up 8c to 916c.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) has completed the sale of Alcan Composites to a Swiss company for $US349m. It has now sold $US8.3bn worth of assets since February 2008. RIO down 34c to 7123c.
  • A few upgrades to Australian GDP numbers after higher than expected inventories numbers yesterday. Some brokers upgrading Sept Q GDP from +0.6% to +1.0%.
  • AXA Asia Pacific (AXA) completes its 2 day Annual Strategy briefing this morning and CEO Andrew Penn told analysts any questions on the takeover offer from AMP was off limits. AXA down 1c to 579c.
  • Stocks hitting fresh yearly high include: Healthscope (HSP), Indophil (IRN) and K&S Corporation (KSC).

The Dow Futures are down 21.

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

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