The market is down 5. The SFE Futures were up 33 this morning.

The Dow closed up 7 overnight after being up as much as 149 on hope that the US Federal Reserve will announce new economic stimulus at the end of their two day policy meeting tonight. Volume was at its lowest level since August as investors await the announcement. The IMF has cut its forecast for US economic growth this year. They now expect the U.S. economy to grow only 1.5% this year and 1.8% in 2012 this is down from earlier forecasts of 2.5% growth in 2011 and 2.7% in 2012. European markets were up on speculation that Greece will meet the requirements to receive the €8 billion in aid needed to prevent the country from running out of cash next month. Gold put on $30.20 to $1809.10 and the oil price put on $1.11 to $86.92. The Aussie dollar fell slightly to 102.66c from 102.98c.

Today’s main stories:

  • David Jones (DJS) has reported annual net profit fell 1.5% to $168.1 million in the year to July 31, in line with its guidance. They maintained their forecast for the current half year. They said first-quarter sales were likely to be down around 10%, below management expectations. DJS up 9c to 279c.
  • Kathmandu (KMD) — net profit rose 38% due to strong sales. The result was in line with estimates. KMD expect further growth in FY 2012. KMD down 0.5c to 174.5c.
  • Rio Tinto (RIO) CEO Tom Albanese said demand for commodities has softened, although the Chinese market is helping to offset weakening European and US markets. He said the overall impact on RIO should be limited. RIO down 19c to 6871c.
  • The Federal Court has rejected an application by the ACCC for an order freezing Metcash’s (MTS) proposed $215 million purchase of Franklins. It was found that the bleak “commercial realities” facing the Franklins strongly outweighed the public interest in preventing its acquisition. MTS unchanged at 412c.
  • Lynas Corp (LYC) down 13% to 126.5c after JP Morgan downgraded US peer Molycorp overnight. They cut their target price to $66 from $105 saying the recent rise in rare earth prices could have been mostly speculative.
  • Treasurer Wayne Swan has insisted that the budget will be returned to a surplus, as promised, by 2012/13. But he says the slowing global economy has made conditions just a bit more difficult.
  • BHP Billiton (BHP) has announced an 8.5% pay rise for CEO Marius Kloppers. He earned $11.37m last year. BHP down 4c to 3676c.
  • Atlas Iron (AGO) has succeeded in their $240m takeover of FerrAus, securing just under 95% of the company. AGO down 4.4% to 346c.
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