The market is down 48. The SFE Futures were down 49 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed down 120 overnight. Dow up 103 at best and down 125 at worst. Financial stocks underperformed, down 2.4%, and all 10 S&P 500 industry groups were lower. There is speculation that tonight’s official payrolls report will disappoint. Manufacturing grew more than expected in August, while construction spending dropped sharply in July. Obama will give a major speech next week on how he plans to lift hiring and growth. Metals closed down on the LME, the oil price put on 12c to $88.93 and the Gold price dropped $2.60 to $1829.10. The Aussie dollar increased to 107.29c from 106.92c.  US Markets are closed Monday for the Labor Day Holiday.

Today’s news … quiet day to finish off the week.

  • Leighton Holdings (LEI) says despite recent media reports, no class action has been filed by Maurice Blackburn, and that they will rigorously defend any claims of the nature described in the press articles if claims were to be filed. LEI down 3.5% to 1983c.
  • Lend Lease (LLC) says one of their subsidiaries is part of a preferred consortium to build a new prison in the NT. LLC down 1c to 841c.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) says that global iron ore production growth will need to be at a rate of at least 100 Mtpa over the next 8 years to meet rising demand “as markets like China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and countries in Africa and South America continue to industrialise and urbanise”. RIO down 1% to 7233c.
  • Qantas Airways (QAN) said passenger and yields from ticket sales increased in July thanks to continued improvement in domestic travel. QAN up 2% to 163c.
  • Elders (ELD) up 11% to 34c on the back of news that they have refinanced their debt. They now have a $347m facility with 5 banks rather than a complicated structure involving 8 banks and 19 US noteholders.
  • Standard and Poor’s have made some adjustments to their S&P/ASX 200 Index — Qube Logistics Holdings (QUB) and Acrux Ltd (ACR) have been added, Infigen Energy (IFN) and Hills Holdings (HIL) have been excluded.
  • Lynas Corp (LYC) — soon to be the biggest rare earths producer outside of China — has signed a long term deal with German chemicals company BASF to supply rare earths from their Malaysian facility. LYC down 5c to 178c.
  • CSR Ltd (CSR) has had their target price downgraded by just about every broker this morning following their disappointing trading update yesterday. CSR down 4% to 326c.
  • Notable stocks going ex dividend today include AGL Energy (AGK) — 31c, Asciano Group (AIO) — 1c, QR National (QRN) — 3.7c and Ramsay Health Care (RHC) – 29.5c.

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