The market is up 21. The SFE Futures were up 8 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed up 26 overnight. The Dow was up 38 at best and down 91 at worst. The Federal Reserve announced it will buy $600bn in Treasury bonds by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2011 to help stimulate the economy. The Dow climbed to a new two-year high, while the S&P 500 hit a new six-month high. Market commentary referred to the second round of quantitative easing as a “Global Ponzi scheme”. Gold fell $17.70 to $1339.20, the oil price was unchanged and $1US now buys $A1.005.

Today’s main points…

  • THUMBS DOWNSHARE PRICE UP — The Canadian government has put the kybosh on BHP Billiton’s $US40bn takeover bid for Potash. Canada’s Industry Minister Tony Clement said he wasn’t satisfied that the takeover was in the best interest of the country. BHP up 2.6% to 4377c.
  • News Corp (NWS) — In line with consensus — Said 1st Q EBIT increased 8% to $US1.15bn, in line with the $US1.14bn analysts expected. Revenue increased 3.2% to $7.43bn, in line with forecasts. NWS up 15c to 1667c.
  • Westpac Bank (WBC) released its FY result yesterday. Numbers were in line with expectations. Dividend of 74c was better than expected. Most brokers responded this morning by maintaining either their Neutral or Hold recommendation. WBC up 4c to 2346c.
  • Boral (BLD) held its AGM this morning — reiterated FY guidance. Patersons maintain their Buy recommendation. BLD up 2c to 438c.
  • Downer EDI (DOW) has appointed Mike Harding as CEO to replace Peter Jollie who did not stand for re-election. Kevin Fletcher has been appointed the new CFO.  DOW down 4c to 501c.
  • Extract Resources (EXT) said it continues to hold discussions with parties interested in participating in the development of its Rossing South uranium resource in Namibia. EXT up 3% to 815c.
  • Austral (ASB) jumped 18.5% before being placed in a trading halt on reports that the US Navy was in talks to buy coastal warships from ASB and a rival tenderer.
  • Retail sales increased by 0.3% in September, below the 0.5% rise economists expected.
  • ANZ Bank (ANZ) went 74c ex dividend today. ANZ down 74c to 2446c.
  • Stocks hitting 52 week highs include: Austal (ASB), Alumina (AWC), Fleetwood (FWD), Mount Gibson (MGX), Oil Search (OSH) and Suncorp-Metway (SUN).

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