The market is down 38. The SFE Futures were up 4 this morning.

The Dow Jones closed up 126 — up 156 at best as it took in two days of developments in Greece having been closed since the more positive Greek polls at the weekend. Looks like we did our dash ahead of Wall St on yesterday’s Chinese stimulus hopes (ASX 200 up 85 or 2.1% in two days). The Chinese stimulus enthusiasm being qualified this morning with a denial from the official Xinhua news agency and the rider that it would only be introduced if European growth collapsed.

Spanish concerns intensify as their market doesn’t join in the rally and after falling 2.17% yesterday fell another 2.34% overnight. The struggling Spanish Bankia bank fell another 16.25%. Spain is suggesting they will issue their own bonds rather than rely on EU money to recapitalise the bank. There are doubts they can issue bonds. The euro hits a two year low. Facebook fell 9%, down 24% on the IPO. US home prices up for the second month on the trot in line with expectations. US Consumer confidence numbers disappointed. The Aussie dollar fell buying $98.42.

Main points:

  • Wesfarmers (WES) hold their day long strategy briefing today. The company said their Bunnings business is facing added competition from the Masters joint venture and US partner Lowe’s Cos as all three fight for a piece of Australia’s $42bn home improvement sector. Coles plans to increase the size of its supermarkets as they continue to battle with Woolworths. Coles expects to open 19 new stores, close 11 stores, and extend 10 stores in the 2011/12 financial year.
  • Crown’s (CWN) James Packer has sent shareholders of Echo Entertainment (EGP) a letter calling an EGM to boot out EGP’s chairman, Mr. John Story and replace him with Jeff Kennett. CWN has a 10% stake in EGP. If Packer can influence the board it may kill EGP’s bid premium. EGP is up from 350c since Packer’s ambitions became obvious.
  • Programmed Maintenance Group (PRG) delivered a FY profit of $31.4m up 41% and above a consensus of $29.8m. Interim dividend of 8c fully franked. The company expects moderate earnings growth in FY2013. Overall a much improved result  slightly above expectations.
  • CSG (CSV) has announced a restructure of their Print Services Division to improve efficiency and to reduce costs. The company has also announced the sale of the Technology Solutions Division to NEC Australia.
  • Salmat (SLM) has received an unsolicited and conditional approach to acquire the company’s Business Process Outsourcing division. SLM says the approach is from a credible party but cannot disclose their identity.
  • Australia retail sales numbers fell by 0.2% to a seasonally adjusted $21.21bn in April. Economists were expecting a rise of 0.2% in April.

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