The market is up 33. The SFE Futures were up 14 this morning.

The Dow closed up 24 after being down 29 early. It was the first time since May 2008 that the Dow has closed above the 13,000 level — it has made a new post GFC high — it is 9.6% from its 2007 high, we are 60% from ours. European markets were higher. The gold price was up $11.70 to $1786.60. The oil price was down $2.04 at $106.52. Metals were mixed on the LME. Technology stocks were best while utility and energy stocks underperformed. The Aussie dollar was up buying $107.71¢.

Main points:

  • WorleyParsons (WOR) interim profit up 18% to $152m below consensus of $164.4m. EBIT was up 29% to $248m. Interim dividend of 40c. Economic uncertainty and currency fluctuations remain problematic. No guidance was given. Patersons’ analysts have downgraded WOR to a HOLD from a BUY rating.
  • Seven Holdings (SVW) Underlying profit up 29% to $159.6m (Est $144m) before significant items of $107.5m caused by the share price impairment of Seven West Media (SWM). EBITDA was up 31% to $288.6m. Interim fully franked dividend of 18c. SWM anticipates FY profit to be up 20-30%.
  • Macquarie Atlas Roads (MQA) FY loss of $289.5m down from $226.9m below expectations. This includes a $90.3 loss incurred from investments. Revenue was up 3% to $712.2m. The company has said traffic volumes were down 0.7%. No dividend was announced. The company expects to start paying dividends in 2013.
  • Harvey Norman (HVN) 1st H profit was down 2.1% to $128.9m above expectations. Like for like sales were down 6.3% and worse than expected. Sales were down on intense competition, heavy discounting, price deflation and the strong Aussie dollar. Interim dividend of 5c. 2nd Q sales are expected to be down 8% versus 2.4% consensus. HVN is down 6.0% to 203c. The stock was up 15% ahead of the results.
  • QBE has announced it has completed an institutional placement of 42m shares at $10.70 to raise $450m. The shares do not qualify for the next dividend. The placement was oversubscribed.
  • Orica (ORI) plans to resume work at one of its troubled ammonia plants in the NSW Hunter region. The plant leaked toxic fumes and affected 700 homes in the area and has been closed ever since. The plant closure is expected to cost the company $90m.
  • Retail Sales seasonally adjusted estimate for Jan rose modestly by 0.3%. This follows a fall in Dec 2011 of 0.1%.
  • 4th Q construction down 4.6%.

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