The market is down 1. The SFE Futures were up 11 this morning.

Wall Street closed up 18 overnight having been up 70 with an hour to go. The S&P 500 reached a new high for the year but ended flat. The Nasdaq closed down 0.5% ending its eight-day winning streak. Obama’s healthcare reform was ruled unconstitutional while democrats are expected to approve his extended tax cuts. China decided to leave rates on hold for now causing a rally in commodities. The oil price was up 82c to $88.61 and Gold was up $13.10 to $1398. The $A gained 1.16c to 99.54c.

Today’s main points…

  • NAB CEO Cameron Clyne says despite Treasurer Wayne Swan’s initiatives to improve competition in the mortgage lending space, his bank may still move rates independently of the RBA. NAB down 0.9%. The NAB, Westpac and ANZ have their AGMs this week.
  • The world’s biggest nickel miner, Norilsk Nickel, is in talks with BHP Billiton about developing Honeymoon Well. BHP up 0.5%.
  • It appears that Origin Energy (ORG) and TRUenergy have won the battle for the NSW’s governments electricity retail assets and AGL Energy (AGK) has possibly missed out. The NSW government says it will make an announcement regarding the sale later today. ORG in a trading halt, AGK down 4.5%.
  • Macmahon Holdings (MAH) — Trading Halt — related to a potential new contract announcement. Last traded at 52c.
  • GPT Group (GPT) has completed the $216m sell down of its Wholesale Fund Investment and will use the proceeds to lower its debt levels. GPT unchanged at 284c.
  • PanAust (PNA) has upped its 2010 production guidance to 67,000t of copper at less than $US0.90/lb. PNA up 8.4%.
  • According to the Business Standard website, International Coal Ventures Ltd, a JV between between companies could bid for Riversdale Mining (RIV). RIV up 0.5%. RIO has been a rumoured bidder and the price has already built in a premium for that.
  • Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has sold its $60m holding in RiverCity Motorway Group to Deutsche Bank at 41c to the dollar. CBA down 1%.
  • Citadel’s major shareholder (10%) Colonial First State accepted Equinox Minerals (EQN) $1.25bn takeover offer. EQN up 1.7%.
  • Some analysts are suggesting Perpetual (PPT) are not prepared to grant KKR access to full due diligence before Christmas. KKR bid $1.75bn for PPT back in October. PPT down 0.7%.
  • Navitas (NVT) — Trading Halt — Will announce an acquisition and plans for a capital raising. Announces the acquisition of SAE Group, a leading global provider of creative and new media education. It will also raise $100m via a fully underwritten institutional placement at a base price of 375c. Last traded at 399c.

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