The market is up 3. The SFE Futures were down 5 this morning.

Wall Street closed up 6 overnight. The Dow finished higher for an eighth straight session on light volume. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed down. Bernanke said the unemployment rate could remain high for several years even if the US economy recovers. Corporate activity dominated the headlines. The gold price up $1.40 to $1365.50. The oil price was down 23c to $86.71 and the A$ was down at 101.18c from 101.35c.

Main results today…

  • Telstra (TLS) — 1st half net profit was below expectations but the share price is holding up well — up 1c at 290c. Net profit for the 1st H fell 35.6% to $1.19bn — analysts on average were expected $1.36bn. Maintained their interim dividend of 28c a share for this year and next.
  • Transurban (TCL) — 1st H net profit was up 48% to $74.7m from $50.4m. EBITDA increased 9.5% to $362.8m. They reiterated guidance for FY distributions of at least 26c and will pay an interim distribution of 13c, unfranked. TCL up 0.4%.
  • Alumina Ltd (AWC) == 2010 net profit of US$35m, up from 2009’s US$24m. CEO John Bevan said the market for alumina is set to grow 12% in 2011. Declared a final dividend of US4c. AWC down 2c to 247c.
  • Australian Agricultural Company (AAC) == announced a FY10 net profit of $904,000, compared to a loss of $53.7m in 2009. Revenue rose to $262.6m, up from $156.3m in the prior year. AAC unchanged at 167c.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) releases FY results later today. RIO up 0.3% to 8863c. They also extended their takeover offer for Riversdale Mining (RIV).
  • ASX Ltd (ASX) up 4.2% on news that the London Stock Exchange acquired Canada’s TMX Group and NYSE Euronext confirmed they were in advanced talks with Germany’s stock exchange, Deutsche Boerse, about a possible combination. If the deal between NYSE and Deutsche Boerse is approved, the pressure will be on for the ASX and SGX deal to go ahead.
  • Litigation funding firm IMF Ltd (IMF) is proposing to fund shareholder claims against Downer EDI (DOW) over disclosure related to the NSW government’s Waratah Train Project. DOW down 1.8%, IMF unchanged at 152c.
  • The unemployment rate was 5% in January == as economists had expected. In the month 8,000 full time jobs were lost but 32,000 part time jobs were created for a net gain of 24,000 jobs.
  • Stocks hitting fresh 52 week highs include: Talent2 International (TWO), Northern Energy (NEC), Metals X Ltd (MLX) and Austereo Group (AEO).

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