The market is up 32. The SFE Futures were up 58 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed up 254 overnight and closed on its high. The Greek stock market recorded its largest gains in 20-years, up 14%, after Greece’s 2nd and 3rd largest banks, EFG Eurobank Ergasias and Alpha Bank, merged and announced a capital raising and a $500m investment from Qatar Investment Authority. The NASDAQ finished up 3.3%, while the S&P 500 closed up 2.8% with only 5 stocks in the index closing lower. US economic data dominated the headlines with personal spending and income both up and home sales falling in line with expectations. The FTSE was closed for the Summer Bank Holiday, the oil price put on $1.90 at $87.27 and Gold fell $5.70 to $1791.60. The Aussie dollar fell to 106.75c from 105.68.

Today’s news and results…

  • Harvey Norman (HVN) – FY net profit has come in a bit better than expected at $252.3m with a 6c dividend. Gerry Harvey has said previously that margins remain under pressure and he is less confident of a booming Christmas sales period. HVN up 5c to 208c.
  • Ausdrill Ltd (ASL) reported what Patersons has described as a healthy profit result. Normalised NPAT came in at $73.4m, Patersons expected $74.1m. Margins were good considering market conditions. Their order book stands at $1.84bn. ASL up 5c to 336c.
  • Macarthur Coal (MCC) has advised shareholders to accept a sweetened $4.83bn takeover bid from Peabody Energy Corp and ArcelorMittal. The new offer values MCC at $16 a share, up from the previous offer of 1550c. MCC up 12c to 1592c.
  • Origin Energy (ORG) plans to launch its $1.5 billion Ironbark coal seam gas resource development in Queensland says the Australian Financial Review. The project will target domestic demand which is expected to rise with expansions at Rio Tinto Alcan’s Yarwun alumina refinery and at QLD Alumina. ORG up 8c to 1417c.
  • Kingsgate Consolidated (KCN) announced a FY net profit of $21.1m and declared a final dividend of 5c. They also expect FY12 gold production of 240,000-260,000 ounces. KCN down 28c to 884c.
  • Resolute Mining (RSG) reported a full year net profit of $61.39m, up from a $37.17m loss a year earlier. They expect gold production to rise 24% in the current year. RSG down 1.5c to 154c.
  • September 7 looks to be the crucial day for the Euro zone debt crisis. It is the day when the bailout package goes to Germany’s parliament and its constitutional court rules on the legality of the EU’s bail-out machinery. If the court rules that the €440bn rescue fund breaches Treaty law or undermines German fiscal sovereignty, it will likely set level of volatility.  Obama’s speech on Labor Day is also now a focus of attention – due on Monday Sept 5th.
  • Today is the last day you can buy Perpetual Limited (PPT) and qualify for the off-market share buyback (ex entitlement tomorrow) and the dividend (Ex 90c tomorrow). The stock has obviously had a rally into the buyback but some income investors, especially low tax payers will still be buying it for the franking. Take a free 5 day trial at Marcus Today to read more.

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