The market is down 32. The SFE Futures were up 1 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed up 25 on Friday. It was up 84 at best and down 15 at worst. It was the worst week in two months with the Dow down 2.9% and the S&P 500 down 3.8%. There are doubts that a US bipartisan “super-committee” can come up with budget cuts before the deadline on Wednesday. The EU and the European Parliament agreed to limit expenditure to €129bn in the 2012 budget, up 2% over 2011, but below the €133bn parliament had wanted. The ECB was in the market buying Italian and Spanish bonds on Friday holding both yields below 7%. The Australian dollar was down slightly at 99.81¢ from 99.97¢. Gold was up $4.90 to $1725.10 and the oil price down $1.41 to $97.41.

Main points:

  • The front page of the AFR tells us that OneSteel (OST) has set a 12 month deadline to turn around their domestic operations or risk closing their flagship Whyalla steel making plant in South Australia. OST down 3¢ to 93.5¢.
  • Murchison Metals (MMX) in a trading halt while they are in talks on the possible sales of their stake in the Jack Hills iron ore development in WA and the Oakajee port and rail project. MMX last traded at 27.5¢.
  • Qantas (QAN) has insisted that they are committed to reaching an agreement with unions before a deadline on industrial talks runs out tonight. 5 directors have bought stock this month. QAN down 3¢ to 163¢.
  • iiNet Ltd (IIN) announced they have entered into a binding agreement to acquire TransACT for $60m. Patersons maintain their Buy recommendation and 320c target price. IIN up 6c to 242c.
  • Seek (SEK) say they expect to post earnings growth in 2011/12 “so long as the unemployment rate does not exceed six per cent”. SEK up 2¢ to 600¢.  
  • Telstra (TLS) held an Investor Day on Friday. Brokers were generally positive that FY12 guidance was reiterated and expect there to be support for defensive businesses in these volatile times. TLS down 1¢ to 313¢.
  • Gryphon Minerals (GRY) in a trading halt pending a material capital raising. GRY last traded at 150¢.
  • Talk is that Facebook will launch its IPO early next year. Analysts predict Facebook could be worth $US100bn when it floats.
  • Stocks that have hit 52-week lows today include: BSL, CSR, CVN, ELD, FBU, KCN, KZL, MML, OMH, TEL, WTF, WTP
  • Stocks going ex dividend today: CSR, DLX, NCM, SPN, WHT

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