The market is up 3. The SFE Futures were down 6 this morning.

Wall Street closed down 69 overnight. The Dow was up 135 at best and down 91 at worst and closed at 9,974 — below 10,000 for the first time since February 8. Apple’s market cap is now bigger than Microsoft’s after Microsoft fell 4% overnight. Metals were mixed, oil price fell $2.90 to $71.65 but Gold put on $15.40 to $1213.40. The Aussie dollar fell to 82.14c from 82.87c yesterday morning.

In other news today…

  • Foster’s Group (FGL) has been upgraded by three brokers this morning after announcing yesterday they will be demerging their beer and win businesses. Some analysts say it is another way of putting up the “for sale” sign and anticipate a bid for the beer division once de-merged. FGL up 1c today to 554c after putting on 7.4% yesterday.
  • Wesfarmers (WES) released their 246 slide Investor Briefing Presentation (hardly “Brief”). The Coles division, which is often the stock’s main driver, is on track. Patersons maintain their HOLD recommendation. WES down 34c to 2777c.
  • James Hardie (JHX) — 4Q and FY Result — They announced a better than expected operating profit (excluding asbestos liabilities and other costs) of $US133.3m. Analysts on average expected a figure of $US127.7m. JHX down 8c to 707c.
  • Westfield Group (WDC) announced they are seeing positive signs in the markets they operate and reiterated their FY distribution guidance. Worth noting that Chairman Frank Lowy has topped the BRW 200 Rich List for the first time. WDC up 10c to 1213c.
  • Lend Lease (LLC) has held their Strategy Day. They are on track to deliver their earnings guidance and expect FY operating profit to be “broadly” in line with the result they reported last year. LLC down 3% to 746c.
  • Ausenco (AAX) down 17.5% to 249c — have announced they expect to post a 1st half net loss of between $9m – $13m due to delayed project starts and currency movements.
  • Transfield Services (TSE) announce their US subsidiary USM has won new contracts worth $US188m. TSE up 6c to 366c.
  • Perpetual (PPT) says they expect their FY net profit to double to $85m-$95m thanks to improved market conditions. They expect underlying profit to come in at $65m-$75m. PPT down 5c to 2978c.
  • The AFR was on the money yesterday after The QLD Coal Industry Rail Group, 11 coal companies including BHP and RIO, made a $4.85bn bid for the QLD government owned coal rail track network. One former politician has said that with financial markets looking uncertain, it has made the bid look a much more attractive option..
  • Stocks hitting fresh 52 week lows include: Ausenco Ltd (AAX), Alliance Resources (AGS), Biota Holdings (BTA), Capral (CAA) and Tower Australia (TAL)

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