The market is down 2. The SFE Futures were up 5 this morning

Wall St. closed up 51. The Dow was up 56 at best and down 50 at worst.  Materials were the best performing sector overnight. Gold was down again – $22.40 to $1121, and oil fell $1.95 to $70.67. The Aussie dollar slightly improved to $90.89c from 90.43c yesterday. Metals were mixed overnight — copper fell to a 9 day low.

Making the news today…

  • Metcash (MTS) announces it has beaten private equity group Anchorage Capital to Mitre 10 and has bought a 50.1% stake in the company with the option to buy the rest further down the track. It will inject $55m into the company to improve earnings growth and market share. Patersons has a BUY recommendation and 481c target price. MTS down 4c to 436c
  • Santos (STO) has reaffirmed 2009 production guidance at its Investor Seminar. It says unprecedented Asia economic growth is driving energy demand and security of supply is becoming increasing important. Its 2010 capex guidance is $2.8bn and new equity is expected to meet any remaining funding requirements. STO down 10c to 1420c.
  • UGL Ltd (UGL) maintains its flat earnings outlook despite improved conditions and has replaced its CFO. UGL up 16c to 1285c.
  • Ten Network (TEN) says the advertising market is continuing to improve. CEO Nick Falloon told shareholders at its AGM this morning that its stronger 2009 ratings performance has meant a satisfactory outcome in negotiations with key advertising buying groups. The board is continuing to review its dividend policy and will update shareholders on its decision when it announces its 1H result. Its share price is up over 50% since June. TEN is up 1c to 155c.
  • Talk of investment bankers approaching Tabcorp Holdings (TAH) in the past month offering to buy its NSW wagering business which generates around a fifth of its earnings. It seems price will be the biggest issue. TAH up 1c to 693c.
  • Equinox Minerals (EQN) fell 3% yesterday on concerns its 17% major shareholder, First Quantum Minerals, would sell its stake to spend $US500m on getting the Ravensthorpe mine in bought off BHP Billiton off the ground. EQN down 9c to 409c.
  • After a disappointing 2H, Caltex Australia (CTX) will close one of its refineries and lay off staff. Its refining business has suffered due to falling demand, global surplus refinery capacity, higher oil prices and the stronger Aussie dollar. CTX down 17c to 847c.
  • China’s Yanzhou Coal Mining has received approval from its Securities Regulatory Commission to buy Felix Resources (FLX) for $3.54bn. FLX up 5c to 4687c.
  • Goodman Fielder (GFF) has sold its fats and oils business to Cargill for $240m. The deal also includes a 10 year supply agreement. GFF up 0.3% to 161c.

The Dow Futures are up 12.

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

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