The S&P/ASX 200 index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has climbed for the second consecutive day, up 0.9% to close at 4,245.7, following rises on overseas markets on Friday, which appear to be driven by investors hoping for further stimulus in Europe and the US.

The Aussie dollar is higher against the US dollar, now buying 104.5 US cents.

In more bad news for traditional bricks and mortar retailers, Australia Post has announced that it is partnering with a new online shopping service, to offer cheap delivery rates on products normally sold through US retailers, amongst others. The new online shopping service also sells products much cheaper than can be obtained through traditional retailers.

Company News

Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX: TLS) hit $4.00 in afternoon trading, the highest level since December 2008, as the weak economic outlook appears to have prompted investors to buy into high yielding companies. Telstra is currently paying a 7% fully franked dividend yield.

Despite announcing 15% growth in production for the 2012 financial year and forecasting an even better 2013, oil and gas producer Beach Energy (ASX:  BPT) saw its shares slump 2.3%. Which goes to show you can’t please some people.

Winners and Losers

Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) jumped 9.2% to end at $9.50, after analysts from Morgan Stanley suggested the company could pay a 10% dividend yield in the current financial year, following the share price halving within three months. Whether the company will actually pay a 10% dividend yield is yet to be seen.

Of the majors, Stockland (ASX: SGP) climbed 2.8% to $3.33, Asciano Ltd (ASX: AIO) added 2.1% to close at $4.37, and Leighton Holdings Limited (ASX: LEI) rose 1.9% to $16.95.

BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL) posted the biggest loss from the top 50 companies, falling 2% to 25 cents. Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) also disappointed, losing 1.5% to end at $4.09.

Foolish takeaway

Hopes appear to be driving global markets higher in the last couple of days. Here at the Motley Fool, we’d prefer that something more concrete was driving the market. Mind you, if Mr Market wants to be irrational – go right ahead, Foolish investors could be offered ridiculous prices for their stocks or get the chance to pick up some bargains. Either way, irrational markets work for us.

If you’re in the market for some high yielding ASX shares, look no further than our ”Secure Your Future with 3 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks” report. In this free report, we’ve put together our best ideas for investors who are looking for solid companies with high dividends and good growth potential. Click here now to find out the names of our three favourite income ideas. But hurry – the report is free for only a limited time.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in Leighton Holdings. The Motley Fool‘s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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