The market is up 1. The SFE Futures were up 3 this morning.

The Dow closed down 10. Nasdaq up a touch. The Dow is at a four year high while Spain hits a three year low. European markets mixed with France up 0.4% whilst Germany fell 0.75%, London fell 0.93%, Spain fell 2.55% and Italy fell 2.60%. US March factory orders data contained no surprises with a fall led by the volatile aircraft component. Energy -1.6% with ConocoPhillips dropping by 3.4% after inventory data saw an increase in stockpiles and the oil price fell 79c. US crude inventories hit their highest levels in more than 20 years. Financials -1.0% and Basic Materials -0.7%. Department of Energy inventory numbers. Base metal prices also slipped in the wake of the generally soft US and European stats. Nickel and lead were the biggest fallers.  Precious metal prices were hurt by a stronger US$.

Main points:

  • Westpac Banking Corp (WBC) delivered interim cash earnings of $3.195bn which was slightly above a consensus of $3.11bn. Profit was $2.97bn down 25% after tax consolidation from their St George acquisition boosted last years profits. The company said some stability had returned to financial markets. Interim fully franked dividend was up by 2c to 82c. No word yet on an interest rate cut.  Overall a solid result.
  • Harvey Norman (HVN) says their profit for the nine months to March 31 was down 25% to $204.8m after the impact of aggressive competitor activity impacted the bottom line. Like for like sales also down 6.6%. Sales in April are continuing the downward trend.
  • ASX has reported a 2.9% fall in profit for the nine months to March 31 after concerns over the global economic environment impacted market trading. The majority of the fall was driven by a 13.5% fall in listing revenue as the number of companies raising equity was less.
  • Bluescope Steel (BSL) sold their North American based metals panels business to NCI Group Inc for US$145m. The company is expecting to record a profit of US$9m after the sale of Metl-Span after taking into account foreign exchange losses of $20m.
  • Tabcorp Holdings (TAH) has reported 3rd Q revenue up 2.7% to $724m as positive revenue trends continued from the first half. Results were largely inline with expectations.
  • Transfield Services (TSE) and joint venture partner Veolia Transdev have won a contract to run Sydney Harbour’s iconic ferry service. Under the reform, the NSW Government will continue to own Sydney Ferries and control fare structures, but TSE and Veolia will have the right to lease, maintain and run the fleet.
  • PanAust (PNA) announced the first bar of Ban Houayxai gold-silver has been poured. The estimate for 2012 production is 85,000oz of gold at a cash cost of US$550oz-US$600oz. At current prices, Ban Houayxai will be paid back in less than two years and boost PNA’s cash flow.

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.