The market is down 10. The SFE Futures were down 8 this morning.

Wall Street closed down 41 overnight. The Dow was down 75 at worst. Plenty of economic data out — Retail sales disappointed despite being up for a seventh straight month, import and export prices increased more than expected and the Empire Manufacturing Survey hit an eight month high. The oil price fell 49c to $84.32, Gold put on $9 to $1374.10 and the Aussie dollar is below parity again — now at 99.61c compared to 100.30c.

Earnings Results are dominating the headlines…

  • BHP Billiton (BHP) down 1.5% on their results. 1st H net profit increased 72% to $US10.52bn. In line with analysts’ expectations. The stock has run hard ahead of the result — up 5.2% so far in February. Announced an expanded $US10bn share buyback. Revenue was up 39% to $US34.17bn and declared an interim dividend of US46c, up from US42c. CEO Marius Kloppers says he is confident in the long term outlook for core commodities.
  • Westfield Group’s (WDC) result was in line with expectations. Net operating earnings (which excludes property revaluations and other non-cash items) came in at $2.06bn, down 1.5% on last year. Importantly, they reaffirmed FY11 operating earnings were expected to fall to 74.6c from 89.6c with a distribution of 48.4c. WDC down 4c to 988c.
  • CSL Ltd (CSL) announced a “solid” result.  Net profit fell 19% to $500.2m, analysts were expecting a figure of $486m and ranged from $452m to $506.5m. Declared an interim dividend of 35c, in line with last year. CSL down 5c to 3476c.
  • The Reject Shop’s (TRS) result was in line with December’s profit downgrade — 1st H net profit fell 16% to $15.91m, in line with company guidance. No guidance was given for the FY profit due to uncertainty regarding the costs of the QLD floods. TRS down 37c to 1313c.
  • Dexus Property (DXS) announced a $294.4m net profit for the half. Expects their office portfolio to deliver consistent underlying growth. Declared a 1st  distribution of 2.59c and upgraded their FY outlook. DXS unchanged at 86.5c.
  • Biota (BTA) recorded a $15.95m loss for the half. Has cash of $77.5m sitting in the bank. BTA down 14% to 131c.

In other news…

  • GPT Group (GPT) announced they are selling their US Seniors Housing Portfolio to Health Care REIT Inc for $US890m. GPT have now existed all offshore non-core assets except for two real estate funds in Europe. GPT up 3c to 312c.
  • The ASX Ltd (ASX) announced yesterday that SGX was taking measures and giving up some ground to ensure their bid for ASX goes through. ASX down 31c to 3781c.
  • Stocks going ex dividend: Platinum Capital (PMC) — 4c.

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