The market is up 21. The SFE Futures were up 26 this morning.

Wall St. closed up 69. The Dow was up 108 at best and down 1 at worst. Economic data dominated the news headlines. US trade deficit was better than expected but the weekly jobless claims came in higher than expected. Oil fell 13c to $70.54 but Gold rebounded $5.50 to $1126.40.

Making the news today…

  • The Future Fund looks likely to take a $1.5bn stake in Transurban (22% of the company) to facilitate the $6.8bn bid for the company by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan which is conditional, under FIRB requirements, on a 22% stake being retained by other shareholders even though the company will go private. The bid is at 525c with the share price at 555c…and this little development will feed expectations that the Canadians will up their bid, some hope to 600c.
  • According to the AFR, APN News & Media’s (APN) Irish major shareholder, Independent News & Media, could be selling its stake in APN early next year. It is apparently planning to appoint an advisor rather than take unsolicited offers. APN up 2c to 227c.
  • Amcor (AMC), which has been in favour with investors lately, up 9.7% in the past month compared to the 3.1% drop in the market, has announced a new organizational structure once it’s Alcan packaging transaction has been approved in Europe and the US. It is also in consultations with the European Works Council. AMC up 3c to 613c.
  • Macquarie Group (MQG) will buy $350m of existing shares for bonus payments to senior staff. MQG up 1.62% to 4766c.
  • DUET Group (DUE) says it will invest another $US104.8m in US utility DQE Holdings and will fund it with existing cash reserves. DUE down 1c to 180.5c.
  • Wayne Swan has told the FIRB to improve the way it communicates with Chinese investors.
  • Fund managers say cyclical stocks are expected to outperform defensive companies next year.
  • Abacus Property (ABP) last night successfully completed a $91.37m placement. ABP last traded at 41.5c.
  • Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) has completed a $100m new share sale to cut its debt. API last traded at (WTF) up 6c to 651c after it entered into an agreement to buy Go Do Pty Ltd. WTF up 5c to 650c.
  • Karoon Gas (KAR) making up some of yesterday losses — up 7% to 822c — after one analyst said its Poseidon-2 well contains possible gas bearing sands similar to its Poseidon-1 discovery.
  • Stocks hitting a fresh yearly high include Cash Converters (CCV) and CSG Ltd (CSV).

The Dow Futures were up 19 at midday

Peter Fray

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