The market is up 43. The SFE Futures were down 26 this morning. The market was down 16 but is rallying — Dow Futures up 124 as we write.

The Dow Jones closed down 20 on Friday. The index was up 109 at best and down 72 at worst. The Dow ended the week up 1.7% after hitting 13 month lows on Tuesday then rebounding about 5% from its lows. European markets were up despite Fitch Ratings downgrading Italy and Spain and putting Portugal on under review (after the markets closed). Germany and France have come to a rather fuzzy agreement about how to strengthen euro zone banks after German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Berlin on Sunday. Metals were mixed on the LME, the oil price put on $0.39 to $82.98 and the Gold price fell $17.40 to $1635.80. The Aussie dollar rose to 97.52c from 97.35c — it hit 98.78 at its peak.

Today’s main points:

  • Fairfax Media (FXJ) has agreed to sell its regional radio assets to Grant Broadcasters. The deal is expected to be completed in late October but the value of the sales was not disclosed. FXJ down 1¢ to 89¢.
  • The head of Asciano’s (AIO) Patrick ports division, Paul Garaty, will leave AIO in 2012 for undisclosed reasons. Patrick is the group’s weakest-performing division and was set tough performance targets during a recent review of the business. AIO up 2.7%.
  • Former Leighton Holdings deputy CEO Bill Wild has been appointed interim chief executive of Hastie Group (HST). HST unchanged at 9¢.
  • Atlas Iron (AGO) will switch to monthly pricing when several of its long-term supply contracts reach completion in the next 9 months. The company said “As new contracts are entered or renewed, Atlas will be generally looking to shorten the pricing reference period from quarterly to monthly to ensure that a price more reflective of current conditions is received”. AGO up 2.5% to 329¢.
  • An ANZ survey found that total job advertisements on the internet and in major newspapers fell for a third straight month, down 2.1% in September. ANZ Head of Australian Economics and Property Research said “Moderating job advertising points towards a further softening in employment growth in the months ahead and a modest rise in the unemployment rate”.
  • Extract Resources (EXT) has been placed in a trading halt ahead of a statement to the market. This comes amid reports that China’s Guangdong Nuclear Power is set to launch a $2.2 billion bid for the company. EXT last traded at 886¢, up 10.2%.
  • Columbus Day holiday in the US tonight — Equity markets open, bond markets closed.
  • Stocks going ex dividend today: BER, CWP, IAW, IDL, MNY, WAX, WPG, XRF.

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