The market is up 2.  The SFE Futures were down 9 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 17 overnight. The Dow was up 14 at best and down 34 at worst. The Dow broke a 3 day winning streak even though US Federal Reserve officials saying the recovery in the US economy is underway. The good news overnight is Japanese authorities saying power is being restored to the nuclear power plant in Japan. The volatility index fell despite market closing slightly lower. Metal prices were mostly up overnight. The oil price put on $1.67 to $104, Gold increased $1.20 to $1427.60 and the Aussie dollar increased to 101.1c compared to 100.66c.

Today’s main stories … quiet day on the news front.

  • David Jones (DJS) reported a 5.2% rise in net profit in H1 2011 on flat revenue. DJS declared an interim dividend of 13c per share, fully franked. They maintained their previously issued guidance “subject to no further deterioration in consumer sentiment and no further adverse changes in the macro economic environment”. DJS up 2c to 452c.
  • Foster’s Group (FGL) has stopped the delivery of tens of thousands of slabs of VB, Carlton Draught and Pure Blonde to Coles and Woolworths upon learning of a plan to sell them well below cost. The retailers are trying to extend the milk war to the beer industry. FGL say supply was withheld to protect its brands against “loss-leading”. FGL up 2c to 553c.
  • Virgin Blue (VBA) said it expects a before tax loss of $30m-$80m for FY11 with management saying, “We have witnessed an unprecedented number of significant events in an extraordinarily short period of time, including natural disasters and a sharp spike in fuel prices.” VBA down 2c to 31c.
  • Crane Group (CRG) announced its CEO Greg Sedwick will leave the company after 7 years to be replaced by Fletcher Building executive David Worley. CRG up 5c to 999c.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) now owns 35.89% of target Riversdale Mining (RIV). RIO has previously stated they want to hold at least 50% of RIV shares. RIO is unchanged today at 8055c.
  • West Australian Newspapers (WAN) has completed the retail component of their $653m raising to help pay for its $4.1bn acquisition of Seven Media Group, with only 14% of the entitlement taken up by shareholders. Shareholders applied for around $47m of the $328m retail offer at 520c a share, but recent volatility resulted in the share price falling below that level. WAN down 6c to 523c.
  • Linc Energy (LNC) has finalized the purchase of 3 producing oil fields near Wyoming in the US for $US20m. They also announced that it is talks with several parties over the Teresa Asset. LNC up 1c to 286c.
  • Companies going ex dividend today include: Seek (6.8c).

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