The market is up 53. ASX 200 SFE Futures were up 18 this morning. Dow Jones finished up 48 on low volumes. The Dow was up 48 at best and down 67 at worst. Consumer discretionary stocks were the best performers.

Chicago Midwest Manufacturing index was up 0.8% in February after rising by a revised to 0.4% in January. 

According to Reuters, forecasts for March quarter earnings have been scaled back, with profits rising just 1.6% from a year ago, down from 4.3% in January.

European markets mixed — UK FTSE up 0.43%, German DAX up 0.05%, France up 0.09%, Spain down 0.14%, Italy down 0.05%.

Metals up — copper up 0.58%, nickel up 0.63%, zinc up 0.43%, aluminium up 0.14%. 

  • TEN Network Holdings (TEN) — Interim results — net loss of $243.3 million, which includes $304 million of impairment charge. Underlying net profit of $6.8 million. CEO says timing of any market improvements are unclear, advertising market remains weak. TEN is up 4.24% to 30.75c.
  • Sundance Resources (SDL) — Down 45% to 11.5c — Has officially terminated the $1.3 billion takeover deal with China’s Hanlong Mining but remains in discussions with other parties about developing its proposed West Africa iron ore project.
  • Billabong (BBG) — Will announce that they have held talks with a consortium led by Sycamore Partners Management and Paul Naude for the sale of the company at a price of 60c.
  • Qantas (QAN) — The alliance with Emirates is already having positive effects as competitors on the kangaroo route to London cut air fairs to maintain market share. QAN is up 1.3% to 175.75c.
  • Westpac & ANZ — Australia will become the 3rd country to be granted direct currency trading rights with China through WBC and ANZ. The agreement was announced by the Prime Minister yesterday in Shanghai. WBC is up 1.87% to 3109c & ANZ is up 1.22% to 2820c.
  • Wesfarmers’ (WES) Target has appointed a new MD to take control of the struggling discount department store. Stuart Machin a former director of stores development and operations director at supermarket Coles will take over from Dene Rogers. WES is up 0.17% to 4014c.
  • Rural Co (RHL) — Has given a profit warning and says its profit could fall by as much as 70% as it battles lower livestock prices, weaker merchandise sales and higher costs related to the pursuit of rival Elders (ELD). RHL is down 6.49% to 288c.
  • Orica (ORI) — Has completed the turnover of its leadership team, replacing chairman Peter Duncan with Russell Caplan. The company is looking to restore their environmental credentials and turn around their underground mining unit under new management. ORI is up 1.75% to 2352.5c.
  • Blackthorn Resources (BTR) — Is down 11.04% to 68.5c  after releasing an update on the Kitumba Mineral Resource Estimate.