The market is up 13. ASX 200 Futures were up 11 this morning. Dow Jones finished up 69 on below average volumes. The Dow was 85 at best and down 17 at worst on strong economic data. The S&P500 hit a fresh record high of 1597 during the session.

Info tech stocks underperformed as PC sales recorded their biggest quarterly fall in 20 years. Hewlett Packard down 6.5%, Intel down 2.0% and Microsoft down 4.4%. All other stock sectors finished up.

Weekly jobless numbers were down by 42,000 to 346,000 last week, beating the forecasts of 365,000. The US March budget deficit was $107 billion, near forecasts of $112.5 billion. Export prices were down 0.4% in March with import prices down 0.5%.

US 10-year bond yield was down 2bpts to 1.79%. Best sectors — Consumer discretionary, health care. Worst sectors – Info tech.

The VIX (Volatility Index) down 0.97%.

European markets up — UK FTSE up 0.45%, German DAX up 0.78%, France up 0.85%, Spain up 0.28%, Italy up 0.58%.

Metals mixed — Copper up 0.45%, nickel up 1.38%, zinc up 0.13%, aluminum down 0.56%. Spot iron ore up 30c to $140.90.

  • Woodside Petroleum (WPL) — Has announced the shelving of their $45 billion Browse LNG project in WA after deciding that the huge venture will not be profitably developed as proposed. WPL is up 3.44% to 3649.5c.
  • BHP Billiton (BHP) — Chairman Jacques Nasser (former Ford CEO) says the local car industry will not survive because of a global production glut and the high Aussie dollar. He said “it would be a very sad day for Australia but unfortunately it looks like it could be inevitable”. BHP is down 0.48% to 3324c.
  • Sundance Resources (SDL) — Shares continued their free fall, down almost 66% since takeover negotiations with Hanlong were terminated on Tuesday. While SDL is unlikely to receive another 45c offer, sources say China Development Bank would still fund the project if another buyer can be found. SDL is up 6.82% to 9.4c.
  • Woolworths (WOW) — Is on track for their strongest sales growth in 4 years after reporting an increased of 5.7% in total quarterly sales to $14.4bn despite challenging retail conditions. The better than expected performance lifted shares 48c yesterday to 3437c taking gains this year to 17%. There are no changes to broker recommendations this morning (mixed) but some target price have been lifted slightly. WOW is up 0.81% to 3465c.
  • Automotive Holding Group (AHE 395c) — Goldman Sachs has a Neutral with a target price of 400c this morning. The company recently released 3Q trading numbers and the broker saw them as a little soft. The target price is down 10c but the recommendation is retained. AHE is down 0.76% to 392c.
  • Karoon Gas (KAR) – Have released preliminary estimates from Kangaroo-1, Santos Basin, Brazil, ascribing a wide 1C-3C contingent resource range of 2-337 mmbbl. There are two buy recommendations this morning with target prices of 900c and 645c. KAR is down 0.21% to 465c.