The market is up 8. The SFE Futures were down 1 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 15 overnight. CPI was up less than expected in October with the rise coming from gas prices. New home starts fell to the lowest level since May 2009 and building permits rose less than expected. Financials down as the Fed said it would evaluate banks ability to withstand losses. Gold down $1.50 and Oil down $1.90. The A$ up 0.21c to 97.84c.

Today’s main points.

  • Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese said signs of increased demand are emerging from the US but Chinese growth needs to cool. He added that some US demand appeared to be driven by speculators expecting increased price inflation as a result of QE2. BHP CEO Kloppers also said overheating emerging economies were a bigger short term challenge than slow economic growth. RIO up 0.7%, BHP up 0.6%.
  • BHP has entered into an MOU with Atlas Iron (AGO) to share infrastructure into Port Headland. AGO up 5.8%.
  • David Jones (DJS) — 1st quarter sales – Like-for-like sales revenue was up 3.2% in the quarter to $466.6m, but when adjusted for a calendar differential only rose 1.2%. DJS up 2.7% to 462c (down 12% from 525c in 2 months)
  • Talk of Wesfarmers (WES) selling its Premier coal mine. Commonwealth Bank values its resources business at $5.7bn. WES up 0.1%.
  • Servcorp (SRV) down 1.3% – it plans to expand on signs the commercial property market is improving. Reiterated guidance for 2011 saying most of that will come in the 2nd half of the year. Still looks expensive — FY PE of 29.51x and FY12 of 12.16x. Yield isn’t all that exciting either – 3.29%.
  • Neptune Marine Services (NMS) — in a trading halt — will undertake a deeply discounted $80m capital raising, says AFR.
  • Woodside Petroleum down 0.3% -may be on the brink of securing a deal to source 6 LNG cargoes worth up to $160m from Petronas as it looks for buyers for its delayed Pluto LNG project.
  • The AFR says if Fortescue Metals (FMG) approves a $US8.4bn expansion project tomorrow, Andrew Forrest is likely to turn to the US bond market for funding. FMG up 2.6%.
  • Ausenco (AAX) up from 249c to 291c yesterday on a statement from the company about 2nd half earnings returning to growth. Patersons have research out today with a BUY recommendation and 315c target price. Now 273c down 6.2%.
  • Talk of Telstra (TLS) spinning off its Sensis division as a separate entity as the stock hits record lows. TLS up 0.2%.

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