Best and worst stocks on the ASX at midday

At lunchtime today the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is down 0.45% despite initially heading higher in the first half hour of trade. The market has been dragged lower by mining stocks that are dealing with the fallout of an iron ore price which is now flirting with the psychological US$100 per tonne level.

At the closing bell on Wall Street last Friday the Dow Jones closed at a new record high after gaining 0.2% for the session.

Overall, the market has had a reasonably quiet start to the trading week with many investors appearing to sit on the side-lines until after the Federal Budget is released on Tuesday.

Sectors are mostly lower led by the materials sector which has fallen 1%. Health care, industrials and utilities are the only sectors to have gained.

Here are the top five best performing stocks in the index at midday today:

  • G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM) has rallied 4.3% to $4.40
  • Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX: SRX) has jumped 3.2% to $16.72
  • Acrux Limited (ASX: ACR) is up 3% to $1.02
  • McMillan Shakespeare Limited (ASX: MMS) has climbed 2.9% to $10.68
  • News Corp (ASX: NWS) has gained 2.8% to $18.80 

These are the five worst performing stocks at midday today:

  • Arrium Ltd (ASX: ARI) has fallen 5% to $1.05
  • Cardno Limited (ASX: CDD) has dropped 4.1% to $6.82
  • Super Retail Group Ltd (ASX: SUL) is down 3.1% to $9.27
  • Drillsearch Energy Limited (ASX: DLS) has lost 2.6% to $1.51
  • BC Iron Limited (ASX: BCI) has slipped 2.5% to $3.95

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in McMillan Shakespeare Ltd.

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