The market is up 45. The SFE Futures were up 47 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed up 186 overnight. Dow up 209 at best and down 3 at worst. The S&P 500 finished in positive territory for the 5th time in six days. Better than expected economic data and earnings numbers did the trick. The oil price put on $3.17 to $111.45, gold continued its record run and hit an intra-day high of $1506.50 and closed just under $1500. The Aussie dollar has taken off and now at 107.42c.

Market Calendar — Our market is shut tomorrow for Good Friday, closed on Monday for Easter Monday and also closed on Tuesday for the ANZAC Day holiday. It re-opens again on Wednesday.

Today’s main stories…quiet session ahead of the extended Easter break.

  • Caltex Australia (CTX) announced a big fall in 1st half profit to $77m from $130m last year. They blame the higher oil prices and an unplanned refinery outage in Brisbane due to severe flooding. CTX down 9c to 1416c.
  • BHP Billiton (BHP) remains a favourite amongst brokers post their quarterly production report yesterday. Although bad weather affected the number, many brokers still have a $50 plus target price on them. BHP up 7c to 4730c.
  • Mixed response from brokers this morning on Wesfarmers (WES) following their sales results yesterday. Patersons maintain their Hold recommendation and says WES is well ahead of WOW on the like-to-like sales figures. WES up 1% to 3371c.
  • Atlas Iron (AGO) up 4% to 367c despite announcing a slight drop is iron ore production due to bad weather. They processed 1.184m tonnes of ore, down 6% on the previous quarter.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) have signed a pact with Tata Steel to develop an environment friendly direct iron smelting process called Hisarna. RIO up 1% to 8389c.
  • Origin Energy (ORG) has entered a trading halt as they prepare to make a statement regarding their LNG operations.
  • Macquarie Airports Roads (MQA) announced toll revenue for the March Q increased 7% across their portfolio on the back of higher toll charges. MAP up 3c to 191c.
  • Sundance Resources (SDL) in a trading halt pending a capital raising announcement. SDL last traded at 43.5c.
  • Western Area (WSA) said their Flying Fox mine is 5.6% smaller than previously reported. Although they have managed to upgrade some of the resources from the least-reliable ‘inferred’ to the more-reliable ‘indicated’ category. WSA up 3% to 714c.

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