The market is up 35. The SFE Futures were up 74 this morning.

Wall Street closed up 254 overnight. The S&P 500 gained 3% for its largest gain since July 7. The ISM Manufacturing Index was 56.3, above estimates of 52.9. But construction spending fell 1% and the ADP employment report, a pre-cursor to the jobs numbers on Friday, fell by 10,000, when a 13,000 gain was expected. Metals were well up on the LME. The oil price gained $2.08 to $74.00, while Gold fell $2.20 to $1248.10. The Aussie dollar was at 91.10c up from 89.29c.

Today’s main points…

  • An article in The Australian suggests Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (BEN) and Bank of Queensland (BOQ) held preliminary talks over the merit of a $5.5bn merger although there was no suggestion of an imminent deal. BOQ up 0.88%, BEN up 1.38%.
  • Foster’s Group (FGL) CFO Angus McKay has resigned to take up the CFO role at Asciano (AIO). FGL up 0.16%, AIO down 0.29%.
  • Santos (STO) is said to be planning its 2nd multi-billion dollar capital raising in 15 months. STO down 0.49%.
  • QBE Insurance (QBE) has denied speculation that CEO Frank O’Halloran will resign after 12 years. QBE up 0.89%.
  • PBL Media’s 49.1% stake in may be up for sale. There is speculation that the private equity group that controls PBL Media, CVC Asia, will sell the stake as it heads towards an IPO of PBL Media. CRZ up 0.78%.
  • Cougar Energy (CXY) resumed trading after a six-week suspension and is down 45.3% to its lowest level in over 3 years. They say they are facing their greatest challenge as a publicly listed company on Queensland Government concerns that their underground gas project is contaminating bore water.
  • A consortium of 10 coal companies is doing its best to acquire QR National before it moves to a $5bn IPO in mid October.
  • Cinema company Hoyts says its private equity owners, Pacific Equity Partners, are still considering floating the business.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) has officially opened its $US1.5bn Brockman 4 iron ore mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. RIO up 1.61%.
  • Bigger stocks Ex dividend today — AMC, IAG, NWS
  • Bigger stocks Ex dividend tomorrow — ALL, CIL, FXJ, WAN
  • Bigger stocks Ex dividend on Monday — AGK, AMP, BHP, LEI, LLC, MND, OST, PAN

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