The market is up 17. The SFE Futures were up 52 this morning.

The Dow closed up 52 overnight while the S&P 500 was up 0.75% and the Nasdaq up 0.91%. European markets were higher. The Australian dollar is higher at 104.19¢. Metals are up on the LME — Copper up 2.36%, Nickel up 2.26%. The gold price rose for a second day, up $7.80 to $1679.70 an ounce. Oil was up $1.36 to $104.82 a barrel. Ten-year Treasury bonds were higher as yields fell to 2.184%. All 10 S&P 500 sectors were higher. Materials stocks outperformed, up 1.4%. Technology, and Energy stocks were also strong.

Main points:

  • Metcash (MTS) announced the results of a strategic review of company activities which involved restructuring its business in response to difficult trading conditions. The company has revealed it will book a large non-cash impairment charge of $75m-$90m after the closing of unprofitable stores. MTS will merge several of its operations into one business to stop duplication and improve efficiency. This will lead to 478 job losses from its corporate offices and Campbells businesses.
  • Monodelphous (MND) has won construction and maintenance contacts in WA and QLD worth $220m. The work involves an iron ore car dumper for Rio Tinto’s (RIO) Cape Lambert Port project and various other facilities in Wiggins Island Coal port. Maintenance work is with Woodside Petroleum (WPL) at their Pluto LNG project at Karratha and with Chevron’s LNG projects on Barrow Island and Thevenard Islands. MND has secured $1.8bn worth of worth of work for FY11-12.
  • Transfield Services (TSE) is in trading halt this morning ahead of an update on earnings guidance. The company is completing financial reviews and will update the market once completed. TSE shocked the market last year with massive earnings downgrades that sent the shares down 30%. TSE last closed at 249c.
  • Virgin Australia (VAH) has revealed their passenger numbers were up 7.2% in Feb compared to the previous year. The company’s revenue load factor declined by 4.6% to 72.4%. Qantas Airways (QAN) reported on Friday a 7.9% rise in Feb passengers.
  • BHP Billiton (BHP) says it will not be able to supply its customers with coal after industrial action cause by workers and in their Queensland coal mines have dragged on for almost a year. Wet weather has also been blamed. An alliance between BHP and Mitsubishi Corp has declared force majeure at their coal mines. Details of the impact on production will be included in the company’s quarterly production report.
  • The RBA — announces its Interest Rate decision at 2.30pm today. Economists are expecting the central bank to keep rates on hold at 4.25%.

For a five day FREE TRIAL of the MARCUS TODAY newsletter Click Here. You will receive our renowned and popular Daily email about the stockmarket with all the stuff you need to know ahead of the trading day including:

  • Overnight developments, news, comments, rumours, broker recommendations and ideas from Marcus and his Team.
  • Our Portfolio recommendations which is actively managed on behalf of subscribers … no “set & forget”. Everything you need to effortlessly
  • managed your own long term investment portfolio.
  • Daily Technical Trading ideas and data, including daily scans of the ASX 300 for stocks changing trend.
  • Stock Database — all the numbers with comments on the top 300 stocks and more.
  • Educational section — Marcus’s Educational and Entertaining articles.

Subscribe to MARCUS TODAY. We are sure you will enjoy and profit from what we offer … we have one of the highest re subscription rates in the financial newsletter industry.

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.