The market is up 25. The SFE Futures were down 10 this morning.

Wall St closed down 17 overnight. September’s rally in the US has been the biggest since 1939. The S&P 500 is still 7.9% below the April peak. The OECD says “We are saying yes there is a slowdown in the recovery, not a double-dip recession, just a slowdown in the recovery”. Gold was up $25.60 to $1272.70 — a new record high while the oil price fell $0.39 to $76.80. The Aussie dollar rose to 93.94c, a level not seen since before the GFC.

Today’s main points…

  • Consumer confidence fell 5% to 113.2. The index of expected economic conditions over the next 12 months fell by 7.2% and expected conditions over the next five years fell by 6.1%.National Australia Bank has abandoned its $13.3bn bid for AXA Asia Pacific (AXA) saying “continuing with this agreement is not in the best interests of shareholders”. AMP says “AXA AP remains strategically attractive on the right terms and we’re considering our position”. NAB up 1.9% and AXA up 4c to 522c. AMP up 4c to 512c.
  • AGL Energy (AGK) plans to bid for NSW’s power generation assets. The state is attempting to sell $3bn of its power assets but the process has been delayed, partly due to uncertainty surrounding emissions trading rules. There has been talk that the sale may attract weak offers. AGK up 0.84%.
  • Former David Jones CEO Mark McInnes has sold nearly a fifth of his DJS shares (250,000 shares) between July and September to service a tax bill incurred on his payout from the company. DJS up 0.77%.
  • Cockatoo Coal (COK) is expected to announce a $150m capital raising today with the help of Credit Suisse and Patersons Securities. It will fund the acquisition and development of Anglo Coal’s Queensland and NSW assets taking COK’s coal resources to more than 1 billion tonnes. COK is up 50% in 2010. COK is in a trading halt.
  • Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) has reached a settlement with bondholders relating to convertible bonds in the US. They agreed to pay total damages of $US212m. ALL down 2.3%.
  • Interest in Foster’s (FGL) beer division may not be as strong as previously thought. Shareholder Molson Coors is now said to be unlikely to bid for the division and Coca Cola Amatil maintains that Fosters is expensive above $6 a share. FGL down 0.97%.
  • US-based Peabody Energy says it is committed to doubling its Australian coal operations through “organic and acquisitional growth”.

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