The market is up 10. The SFE Futures were up 17 this morning.

Wall Street closed up 50 overnight. The Dow was up 71 at best and down 9 at worst and closed at its highest level since 2008. The Nasdaq-100 climbed to the highest level since February 2001 but is still 46% below its tech boom peak in 2000 whereas the Australian ASX 200 is up 60% since then. Apple fell 2% on news that CEO Steve Jobs will take another medical leave of absence. Metal prices were mixed overnight, the oil price fell 16c to $91.38 and Gold put on $7.70 to $1368.20. The Aussie dollar was up to 99.85c compared to 99.39c. It hit parity last night.

Today’s main stories

  • BC Iron (BCI) — Trading Halt pending an announcement regarding a corporate transaction. Talk was that Fortescue Metals (FMG) has something to do with it but FMG have since said they know nothing about the halt. BCI’s Nullagine JV is held 50/50 between itself and FMG and BCI can’t move its product to port without FMG’s rail infrastructure. BCI has a market capitalisation of $293m and last traded at 317c.
  • Fortescue Metals (FMG) released quarterly production numbers yesterday. The stock was up 8% yesterday. Analysts described them as strong and one broker says FMG is one of their top picks for 2011. FMG down 1.9% to 713c.
  • Kathmandu (KMD) up 15.2% to 159c after announcing a positive trading update this morning saying sales and margins were better than expected during the December and January period. A good start to the pre-results “Confession” season.
  • Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory (WCB) up 12% to 437c — They also announced a profit upgrade after the close of market yesterday. Net profit is expected to reach $35m-$37m in the 1st half of the year, up from $8.9m.
  • Iluka Resources (ILU) — Quarterly Production Numbers — FY revenue came in at $897.8m, up 63% on last year. FY cash costs were lower than expected at $544.2m, down from $560m. It has no currency hedging arrangements in place for 2011. ILU up 11c to 893c.
  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) has won a $1.3bn QLD mine coal contract with Peabody Energy. LEI down 7c to 3138c.
  • Mirvac Group (MGR) has refinanced two aspects of its debt due in June and next January into a new $1.85bn facility. MGR unchanged at 130.5c.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) released its 4th Q production numbers yesterday afternoon. Iron ore production hit record highs and copper output was better than expected. Analysts this morning described the numbers as solid and in line. RIO up 27c to 8708c.
  • Stocks hitting 52 week highs: Atlas Iron (AGO), Cape Lambert (CFE), Gindalbie Metals (GBG), Mantra Resources (MRU), Whitehaven Coal (WHC) and WorleyParsons (WOR).

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