The market is up 5. The SFE Futures were up 4 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 23 overnight. The Dow was up 89 at best and down 23 at worst. A quiet day with trading volume at its lowest for the year. Personal spending rose more than expected in February. ‘Potentially fatal’ levels of radiation were recorded outside Japan’s Fukushima plant (uranium stocks down again today). The oil price fell $1.42c to $103.98 and the gold price fell for the 3rd day, down $6.30 to $1419.90. The Aussie dollar is at 102.32c after hitting a new high of 103.15c yesterday.

Today’s main stories…

  • JB Hi-Fi (JBH) has cut its full year profit guidance to $108.5m to $113.5m, down from the previous forecast of $134m to $139m mainly be due costs from restructuring the Clive Anthonys business. JBH also said it intends to buy back up to 10% of its shares through an off market buy-back. JBH up 7.3%.
  • Rio Tinto have fallen short on acceptances for their $US4bn takeover of Riversdale (RIV). They have a 41.04% stake but are in last-minute discussions with key shareholders of RIV. The outcomes of the talks are expected to be announced today. RIV in a trading halt – last traded at 1610c.
  • GPT Group (GPT) has finalised the sale of its US seniors housing portfolio to Health Care REIT. GPT said that the proceeds of the sale would initially be used to reduce borrowings, reducing the gearing ratio to about 22.5% from 25%. GPT unchanged at 309c.
  • Zimbabwe has given foreign mining companies until September 25 to dispose of a majority shareholding to locals as it moves forward with its indigenisation law enacted in 2008. Rio Tinto, which owns 77.8% of the Murowa diamond mine in Zimbabwe, said it will “ensure that its local operations comply with government indigenisation policy”. RIO down 1c to 8182c.
  • Decmil Group (DCG) has been awarded a $71m contract by BHP Billiton to install permanent accommodation at the Warrawandu Village in the Pilbara region. DCG up 1.2%.
  • Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke said he had written to Woodside Petroleum (WPL) requesting further information after the company opted not to seek federal government approval for its Omar-1 well in the Browse Basin. WPL up 0.9% to 4751c.
  • Downer EDI (DOW) has raised about $79m from the retail component of its $279m accelerated renounceable entitlement offer. Downer raised about $200m from institutions. The raising comes after cost blowouts and delays related to the Waratah passenger trains contract. DOW up 1.1%.
  • Stocks hitting 52-week highs: CXS, ELM, MSB, RPX, VRL.

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