S&P/ASX 200 open Monday: 5 shares to watch

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO)(ASX: XJO) is expected to jump higher on Monday, with shares of Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) and Fairfax Media Limited (ASX: FXJ) in focus.

Here’s a quick recap of global markets:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.7%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.6%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 1.1%
  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.3%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.4%

In London, shares jumped ahead of the weekend’s French elections and were buoyed by oil prices. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) shares ended 2.1% and 1.2% higher, respectively.

Notably, on Sunday, Emmanuel Macron won the French elections to become President. Macron is a pro-Euro leader and is expected to welcomed by financial markets.

In the US, markets ended mostly higher with the energy and materials sectors bouncing back from earlier selloffs.

Closer to home, the ASX 200 is expected to open firmly higher.

Shares in focus will include Westpac Banking Corp. This morning, the banking giant reported a 6% increase in cash profit and an unchanged dividend of 94 cents per share, fully franked.

Fairfax Media Limited shares are also in focus today. Following a knocked back proposal from the NZ competition watchdog to divest and merge its Kiwi businesses, and then a poor trading update, Fairfax announced it would axe a big chunk of its editorial staff. As a result, last week, its staff went on strike.

However, Fairfax announced this morning that private equity firm TPG Capital is a considering a 95 cents per share takeover offer for its Domain and three major newspapers.  

In other news, computer networks security business, Bulletproof Group Ltd (ASX: BPF), released an updated profit guidance. The group now expects revenue growth of 3% for its full financial year, with an underlying loss of $1.5 million — both figures are below prior expectations.

Finally, analysts at UBS downgraded Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) shares to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’ with a $91 price target, while Bell Potter analysts raised their National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) share price target 1.4% to $35.50, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Are you thinking of buying NAB shares? You should try these 3 blue chip dividend share ideas first. They have been hand-picked by our expert analyst.

Just, click here, enter your email address and we'll send you our expert analyst's research report -- completely free.

No payment or credit card details required.

Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any company mentioned. Owen welcomes and encourages your feedback. You can follow him on Twitter @OwenRask.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: My #1 Dividend Pick for 2017!

With its shares up 155% in just the last five years, this ‘under the radar’ consumer favourite is both a hot growth stock AND our expert’s #1 dividend pick for 2017. Now we’re pulling back the curtain for you... And all you have to do to discover the name, code and a full analysis is enter your email below!

Simply enter your email now to receive your copy of our brand-new FREE report, “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2017.”

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.