The market is down 2. SFE Futures were up 1 this morning.

Dow Jones up 35. The Dow was down 7 at worst and up 87 at best. US markets finished mixed with some better than expected employment figures in the morning although there is some suspicion that such a good set of job numbers should conveniently pop out so close to the US Presidential Election (November 6). They obviously favour Barack Obama — they are the lowest jobs numbers since he was elected. The Dow closed off its highs of the day as there with some profit taking ahead of the third quarter results season (which kicks off properly on Tuesday) and ahead of the Columbus Day holiday which means US bond markets will be closed tonight. Over the week the Dow was +1.29%, S&P500 +1.41% and the NASQAQ +0.64%.

US employment was up by 114,000 in September which was in line with forecasts. The unemployment rate was down from 8.1% to a 3.5 year low of 7.8%. This was well below forecasts of around 8.2%.

Best sectors: Basic Materials (+0.4%), Consumer Goods (+0.3%), Industrials (+0.3%) and Consumer Services (+0.3%). Worst sectors: Technology (-0.8%) and Telecoms (-0.7%).

Metals mixed — Copper down 0.01%, Nickel down 2.02%, Aluminium down 0.12% and Zinc up 0.53%. Copper was the best performer last week finishing up 0.40% with zinc fairing the worst finishing down 2.7%.

  • QR National (QRN) — The QLD government 17.9% of their QRN stake for $1.5 billion leaving them holding 16%. The deal will involve the sale of $1 billion of shares into a company buyback at 347c (making the QLD government a $400 million profit since listing) and $500 million worth to a small number of cornerstone investors. QRN is up 4.9% to 364c.
  • ANZ — Says CEO Phil Chronican says “I don’t think the interest rate is the predominate reason we’re not getting significant growth in consumption or investment, and therefore I’m not sure there’s a lot of merit in having interest rate cuts as the only tool.” ANZ is up 0.63% to 2566c.
  • Bank of Queensland (BOQ) — Last week issued a profit downgrade quoting a weak Queensland housing market and the state’s unforeseen run of natural disasters. Property prices have fallen 50%-60% in QLD similar to GFC levels. BOQ closed down 5.15% on Friday. BOQ is down 2.65% to 734c.
  • Aquila Resources (AQA) has suffered a $1.4 billion blow out in costs. Costs are now expected to top $7.4 billion. The cost increase was primarily blamed upon a need to spend more to accommodate WA government requirements linked to the proposed new port for the project at Anketell point. AQA is down 0.75% to 266c.
  • The ANZ Job Ads survey saw a 2.8% fall in September. The total number of job ads has now fallen for six months and is now 10.8% below levels seen a year ago.
  • St George has lowered their standard variable home loan rate by 17bps.
  • The Chairman of (CRZ) has sold $9.1 million worth of stock on market. CRZ is down 32c or 4.03% to 763c.

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