Welcome to 2013.So far things have been very positive over the Holiday break with the market pushing up to 4800 briefly today in a rush of short covering and optimism on Japanese moves to kick start their economy. However early gains of around 20 points gave way to profit taking and lack of follow through and the index actually went negative for a while before picking itself up and slightly better up 1.6pts. Banks were in the spotlight today as buyers switched from NAB (A$26.59, -1.0%) to the Commonwealth Bank (A$62.54, +0.5%) following denials of moves by Santander to take out the troubled problem child that is NAB UK. Rio Tinto (A$66.89, +0.7%) continued to benefit from Tom Albanese recent demise despite some brokers bringing out reports suggesting that Iron Ore was set to fall and even Fortescue Metals (A$4.64, +2.4%) were better too.. Other big winners today were Brambles (A$8.00, +2.6%), Mount Gibson (A$0.85, +3.7%) after its quarterly, Flinders Mines (A$0.083, +3.8%) were also better whilst the losers included Sirtex Medical (A$11.70, -4.7%) which looked to have taken a bullet today as a few profit takers move in after its stunning 2012 run.

Stocks in the news

Macmahon (A$0.27, +5.9%) soared today following news of a big new order from Fortescue Metals (A$4.64, +2.4%) Other mining services companies have also pushed higher like Monadelphous (A$24.80, +2.1%), Boart Longyear (A$2.05, +6.8%) and Swick Mining ($0.345, unch).

Beach Energy (A$1.35, +1.5%) recovered some of its recent losses after investors took a more positive view of the flow testing from its Cooper Basin but feels more like some short covering before it starts to slip gradually again.

BBY stocks in the news today included a steady Buru Energy (A$2.20, +0.9%) following some drilling updates. Resource Equipment (A$0.385, +6.9%) were also looking positive as Mining Services stocks have recovered along with commodity prices.

Perseus Mining (A$1.84, -5.9%) have underwhelmed with their new managing director and a quarterly activities report. I would suggest that in light of the Algerian “Rescue” there may be a lot of company reviewing their African operations and a lot of invetsors doing the same.The situation in Mali has all the hallmarks of a nasty little colonial war and no upside for anyone.

Looks like Port Headland is back in the news with another Tropical storm bearing down on the Pilbara. Operations will be shut down affecting a fifth of all global seaborne Iron Ore exports.

The ASX (A$33.23, -0.6%) has snagged Ken Henry for a Non-Executive role on its board which has done nothing for its share price at all!

And in other news David Coe ex head of Allco from the bad old days has had a heart attack whilst skiing in Aspen. Only 58.Too young.

Tomorrow’s News Today

The US is back tonight after its little holiday and everyone is bullish. Slightly scary but the US reporting season has been positive and the market is hovering only 5% below its all-time high. I expect the Dow will push through that high in the coming month.

The Bank of Japan have just released their new plan, a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel. Anyway most of the plan has been leaked so no real surprises but this is yet another positive piece in the Equity market jigsaw.

The big news tomorrow will be the BHP quarterly. Having seen what fun RIO had with their writedown and change in leadership this may have given the BHP board some ideas of their own. The resource sector does seem to be somewhat pregnant with write downs on assets that were bought in a moment of irrational exuberance! Who knows BHP may ‘fess’ up too!

Will see a few more quarterlies tomorrow as well, with FMG in the frame and 1st half from Newcrest (A$23.21, -0.2%) (expect to be disappointed, they always do!)