The market is up 1. The SFE Futures were up 4 this morning.

Dow Jones up 34Dow was down 19 at worst and up 69 at best. Good US results, particularly from the IT sector, which offset weak economic releases. The July Philadelphia Fed index, June existing home sales, June leading economic indicators index and weekly jobless claims data all came in under economists’ consensus forecasts. The good news out of the bad news is perversely that weak economic numbers brings on the chances of QE3. Commodities generally higher. The Germans sanctioned the Spanish bank bailout but the Spanish 10 year bond yield went back over 7% again although for today at least Europe was the forgotten issue. Financials down in the US as a host of other banks are implicated along with Barclays in the UK LIBOR fixing scandal. Oil price up $2.34 to $92.21 overnight as Middle East tensions build which is good for the oil price and will please the buyers of Woodside yesterday — WPL was up 7.5% on the back of better than expected production numbers. The Syrian situation looks to going from bad to worse, while Israeli PM Netanyahu openly blamed Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization for Wednesday’s killing of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. Tanker-tracker group Oil Movements reckons that OPEC will cut its oil shipments this month as the sanctions on Iran take effect. Metals mostly up (Nickel down 0.24%). Aluminum the best performer -up 2.26%.

  • Whitehaven Coal (WHC) chairman Mark Vaile has said that he thinks Nathan Tinkler’s takeover attempt will succeed. He said to “never underestimate Nathan’s ability to put these deals together”.
  • According to the AFR there is growing belief that Gina Rinehart will join the board at Fairfax (FXJ) as her confidant Jack Cowin was appointed yesterday. WHC is flat at 404c.
  • Etihad Airways have reportedly received the all clear to double their stake in Virgin Australia (VAH) to 10%. VAH is up 1.28% to 39c.
  • Atlas Iron (AGO) is confident on guidance. Mark Hancock the executive director spoke at a mining investment conference recently and reiterated that they are confident on the future demand from China and that their production is on schedule. AGO is down 0.79% to 191c.
  • Central Petroleum (CTP) MD Richard Cottee has claimed to have made peace with billionaire Clive Palmer. Palmer took Cottee to court due to a shareholder validity conflict but has now withdraws the challenge.
  • Opposition leader Tony Abbott has expressed his view that the current government is focusing too much on China and not enough on domestic productivity. “We should be using this relatively prosperous time to renew our commitment to micro-economic reform,” said Turnbull.
  • The ACCC has cleared another hotel purchase by Woolworths (WOW). According to the AFR the relationship between the two is getting tense due to the number of these acquisitions WOW has been making. WOW is down 0.79% to 2768c.
  • Woodside (WPL) have estimated that the carbon tax will cost them close to US$40m this financial year, less than 1% of their expected revenues. WPL is down 0.09% 3264c.

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