The market is up 26. The SFE Futures were up 24 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed up 22 overnight whilst the S&P 500 fell . The S&P 500 has now lost 7.6% from its April high, but is up 7.2% this month. Initial Jobless claims were better than expected although unemployment remains persistently high. FedEx reported disappointing profit results. Oil was down for the third traight day. Gold hit a new record high ($1277.70) for the second time this week. The Aussie dollar slipped 12c to 93.64c.

Today’s main points…

  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) up 1.4% on news that Spanish builder ACS made an offer to buy out Leighton’s parent, Hochtief. The destination of Hochtief’s 54% stake in LEI and LEI’s 18% stake in Macmahon (MAH) is now uncertain.
  • Santos (STO) has completed a EUR650m hybrid issue. They fell recently on some disappointment with the money raised from the sale of a stake in their Gladstone LNG project and there have been concerns for a large equity issue to fund its development. They say they will conduct an equity raising if required and continue to progress LNG offtake talks with a number of Asian buyers. STO up 2.45%.
  • The National Australia Bank (NAB) says it is now open to UK acquisitions to supplement its organic growth there after dropping its bid for AXA Asia Pacific this week. NAB up 7c to 2585c.
  • Murchison Metals (MMX) has reported a FY loss of $21.6m. MMX up 0.84%.
  • Alinta (AEJ) has entered a trading halt after it received two takeover bids and a recapitalization proposal from some debt holders. This comes amid reports that Alinta would be placed into voluntary administration next week if terms of the sales of the company were not agreed.
  • Consolidated Media Holdings (CMJ) could be selling their magazine division earlier than analysts expected, according to the AFR. CMJ up 0.3%.
  • Asciano Group (AIO) has priced $US1bn in new debt, which will be used to pay off existing bank facilities. AIO down 1.52%.
  • Karoon Gas (KAR) down 3.18% after the trading halt that followed the completion of a $186.4m capital raising was lifted.
  • Centennial Coal (CEY) is close to finalising a coal supply contract with a NSW electricity utility. The contract would last 10 years from July 2012 and was being negotiated “at a price that better reflects export parity pricing”. CEY up 0.5%.

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